01/17/2011, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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UN calls for aid to Sri Lanka flood victims

Mosquito nets, clean water and food are priority necessities for 390,000 flood victims. After weeks, waters are finally starting to recede, allowing some people to go home. Now the main problem is waterborne diseases and major damages to farming.

Colombo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The United Nations has appealed to the international community for emergency aid to Sri Lanka, after floods battered the country for weeks, living 38 people died, 390,000 homeless and 3,744 houses destroyed. Overall, a million people have been affected.

“I urge donors to generously support priority needs such as mosquito nets, clean water and food,” UN Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator Neil Buhne said in a statement on Friday.

Eleven more people were reported dead Saturday, raising the death toll to 38 with four others missing and 51 injured, Pradeep Kodippili of the Disaster Management Centre said. The biggest number of deaths, 18, was recorded in the eastern district of Batticaloa.

As floodwaters recede, some residents are going home, but aid agencies have sounded the alarm about the potential for waterborne diseases.

In addition, farming has been hardly hit with floodwaters wiping out vast rice fields.

The government has estimated flood losses at US0 million.

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