Sri Lanka flood toll rises to 27, Indian assistance arrives

Colombo, Jan 14 (PTI) India has rushed humanitarianassistance to Sri Lanka, where devastation due to heavy floodshas claimed 27 lives and affected over one million people.

The death toll in the floods has climbed to 27 whileanother 12 persons are still missing, the disaster managementcentre (DRC) said today.

The devastation caused by the monsoon floods hasalready hit one million and fifty thousand persons. More than361,000 persons have been left homeless and provided temporaryshelter at 594 camps, DRC said today.

Meteorological department says it has seen asignificant drop in rain fall.

"We have seen a relatively significant drop in rainyesterday after experiencing heavy showers across the countryfor about a week," meteorological duty forecaster Chaminda DeSilva told PTI.

"We can also expect the easing off of low temperatureexperienced during the last couple of days. Though thepossibility of showers remain, it will be relatively low," DeSilva said.

The eastern province affected by the bloody civil warfor decades has been the worst affected. The Batticaloadistrict has received a rainfall as high as 1602.2 mm duringlast 42 days, which is only 46.7 mm short of its annualrainfall, the Information Department said.

Foreign governments and NGOs have come forward toprovide assistance to flood victims.

India responded quickly to Sri Lanka''s call forassistance by sending a consignment of relief supply by anspecial air craft.

The 25 tons of relief material, including food,drinking water, sleeping mats, blankets and bed sheets arrivedin the country today, officials said.

Mahinda Amraweera, disaster management minister ofSri Lanka received the donation at the airport.

Indian Air Force air craft will carry the rest ofthe relief assistance on Monday, officials said.

Islamic and Arabian countries also held talks withexternal affairs ministry to support flood victims, the stateradio announced.

UN agencies are also involved in providing reliefsupplies to affected people.

Seven truck loads of supplies sent by UNICEF havereached the worst affected eastern province yesterday.

Sri Lankan government has spent Rs 139 million forrelief supply and operations. The floods also destroyed400,000 acres of paddy fields and around two hundredirrigation tanks.

Sri Lankan officials estimated the loss of around Rs30 billion in recent flooding in the country.

Meanwhile, several wild animals also believed to havebeen perished due to floods.

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