Sunday, 20 January, 2019

China offers USD 2.2 mn worth of relief goods to Sri Lanka

Ellis Copeland | 31 May, 2017, 05:46

Sri Lanka has sought global assistance, with India sending two naval ships laden with supplies over the weekend.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena who visited some of the worst affected areas during the weekend has assured immediate relief to the victims and has pledged to build new homes for those who have lost their houses.

At least five mudslides had been reported there, police said.

India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Bagley tweeted "SL Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake and High Commissioner encouraging India n SL Navy jt medical and rescue teams from the 3rd Indian Ship".

The military said a lull in torrential monsoon rains had allowed it to deploy aircraft, boats and ground troops to evacuate people from flooded areas and deliver food and other essentials.

The death toll from Sri Lanka's flood disaster climbed to 151 on Sunday amidst calls for urgent evacuations as the meteorological department forecast more bouts of adverse weather conditions.

He told reporters in Colombo that "Our operations are only criticized in Sri Lanka".

Helicopters ferried medicine, relief supplies and inflatable boats to remote areas, while small vessels plied the floodwaters in search of people needing rescue.

INS Kirch Saturday diverted to Colombo to render immediate assistance in flood relief operations.

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The clean-up operation is expected to take weeks, with almost 2,000 houses damaged or destroyed.

CNN reported more than 100 people were missing, with about 500,000 affected by the flood.

The DMC ordered people living along the winding Kelani river - where the Hollywood movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai" was filmed - to evacuate to safer places.

Agalawatte, a town in western coastal district of Kalutara, 74km (46 miles) from the capital, Colombo, has recorded 47 deaths and 62 people are missing. China is to donate relief items worth of Dollars 2.2 million.

"But we have not received any relief supplies from anyone".

Authorities warned of more rains and landslides on Tuesday as cyclone "Mora" formed in the Bay of Bengal.

In 2003, flash floods killed about 260 people.

Mudslides have become common during Sri Lanka's summer monsoon season as forests across the tropical Indian Ocean island nation have been cleared for export crops such as tea and rubber.


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