Floods wreck Lanka's east, 30,000 people displaced

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Colombo, Dec 18 (UNI) At least 30,000 people have faced displacements in Sri Lanka's eastern Batticaloa and Ampara districts by floods due to continuous torrential rains in the region, officials said.

Ministry of Disaster Management said that nearly 23,000 people have displaced from the Amparai district while another 2000 people have faced evacuation in the Batticaloa district.

The displaced people were provided shelter in nearby schools and other public places.

Reuters adds: Flooding and displacement are common in Sri Lanka, where a southern monsoon batters the island between May and September, and a northeastern monsoon runs from December to February.

The eastern district of Ampara, a largely flat agricultural area which was hard hit by the 2004 tsunami, has taken the brunt of this downpour, with neighbouring Batticaloa also affected.

Around 400 acres of paddy fields were damaged by flood waters up to two feet deep, although the level was receding, officials added.

Some roads were blocked by landslides in Nuwara Eliya district in the central tea-growing hills, where 80 houses were damaged, he added.

The Meteorology Department forecast continued rainfall in coming days, but said it would not be heavy.

Flooding and drought are cyclical in Sri Lanka.

In January, around 60,000 people were displaced by flooding, with the southeastern district of Hambantota badly hit.

More than a dozen people were killed by landslides in the central hills at the time, hundreds of houses were damaged and thousands of people were stranded in makeshift welfare centres.

UNI

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