New Zealand relief following floods in Sri Lanka

Solenn Plantier
Mai 30, 2017

Search and rescue operations continued in many parts of the island country that had been severely flooded after days of rains, which began on Friday. Both Ministers also took a tour of the ship, and were briefed about the advanced equipment and facilities on board for disaster relief.

That disaster killed more than 100 people and completely destroyed more than 500 houses, AFP reported.

The spokesperson of Government Rajitha Senaratne stated about the relief operations getting intensified following a break in the monsoon rains, with medical teams visiting hospitals in affected areas.

Last year, India sent two ships and Air Force aircraft to Colombo with relief items during a cyclone.

Indian Naval personnel of INS "Kirch" that arrived in the island on Saturday are now engaging in flood relief operations at Udugama and Galapatha in the Kalutara District in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Navy.

Sri Lankan meteorology officials said the rains were the worst since 2003 and they expected more in the coming days.

The death toll from floods and landslides in Sri Lanka has risen to 169, with close to half a million people displaced.

Almost 500,000 people have been affected by the disaster, the worst since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and the downpours have displaced more than 100,000.

"We have the expertise to deal with this situation", said Mr Senaratne, adding that cholera and diarrhoea had been successfully prevented in past floods.

Over 400,000 people have been affected by the torrential rain and strong winds that started on May 24 and over 100,000 people were relocated, Xinhua news agency reported.

The authorities estimated nearly 442,000 people were affected by the disaster and more than 1,800 homes were destroyed or damaged.

Police and military rescue teams are moving by boat to rescue those marooned as well as retrieve corpses.

People in the town of Agalawatte in the Kalutara District of Sri Lanka said they had no hope of the water levels going down anytime soon.

The UNICEF has donated water containers, water purification tables and tarpaulin sheets for immediate distribution, while the World Health Organization is working with the Health Ministry to deploy medical teams. Pakistan and the United States also promised to send in relief supplies, after India sent shiploads of supplies over the weekend.

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