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3 missing in Sri Lanka flash floods; alert issued


Colombo, May 16: At least three persons were missing in torrential rains and flash floods lashing Sri Lanka for the last two days, prompting authorities to issue an alert, officials said today.

"Three people are reported missing in Dehiowita area," Disaster Management Centre spokesman Pradeep Kodippily said. Relief operations are well underway even the military had been deployed in the hill country areas to provide relief, he said, adding that the men went missing from the country's southwestern district of Kegalle.


Rains lashed the country throughout yesterday, flooding most of the roads in Colombo. Besides, several roads have been cut off due to floods with the Sri Lanka Red Cross saying its employees have been placed on alert to assist anyone who may be affected by the bad weather.

The armed forces have also been put on alert. As many as eight districts have been issued landslide warnings. Katunayake, just outside Colombo, had recorded the highest rain fall, over 260 millimeters between 0830 hours Sunday to 0530 Hrs Monday, Meteorology Department said.

However the rains were to ease somewhat today. "The low pressure area is moving away from Sri Lanka so the rainy conditions over the island will be reduced to some extent, but strong wind conditions will continue for a few more days," Malinda Millagoda, a meteorologist said.

Yesterday, three international flights were diverted to Kochi in India due to bad weather conditions prevailing in Sri Lanka, Airport officials said.


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