01/11/2011, 00.00
SRI LANKA

Torrential rain in Sri Lanka, 16 dead and 832 thousand displaced

A wave of exceptionally bad weather is pounding the island. At least 5 thousand homes uninhabitable, hundreds of thousands of people in emergency camps. Serious damage to agriculture: 25 thousand hectares of crops have been lost.

Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Torrential rains are lashing Sri Lanka causing landslides and floods, with an increasingly serious toll. According to the latest government figures the number of displaced persons has risen to more than 832 thousand; at least 16 people have died. Over 5000 homes have been rendered useless by the rain, and people are pouring into emergency camps set up by the government in search of refuge.

Damage to agriculture is particularly serious. According to the latest data from the Center for Natural Disaster Management, this wave of exceptionally bad weather, has destroyed 25 thousand hectares of crops and 200 water tanks.

The government has promised an emergency aid package for agriculture, with special funding and distribution of seeds to farmers affected by the disaster. The storm was particularly violent in the center of the country, and is currently moving toward the north. In the districts of Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa, Nuwara Eliya, Moneragala, Badulla, Kegalle and Kandy many schools have been closed.

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