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Sri Lanka: Monsoon rains cause deadly flooding

Widespread flooding in the south and east of Sri Lanka has forced thousands to leave their homes and killed at least 17 people, officials said on Monday.

The disaster comes as the island nation's tourism sector has already been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The flooding occurred after rivers overflowed on the weekend after days of heavy rain.

In one deadly incident, four members of the same family — parents and two children — were killed on Saturday when their house was crushed by a mound of earth in Kegalle district, about 85 kilometers (53 miles) east of the capital, Colombo.

More than 270,000 people have been affected by the flooding and some 100,000 buildings have suffered power cuts, according to a statement by the National Disaster Management Centre.

The country's meteorological department said that although rainfall was expected to diminish in the coming days, there would still be intermittent rains in some areas.

The flooding disaster comes as the country is struggling to cope with a potential environmental disaster after a ship carrying 25 tons of nitric acid and raw materials for plastic caught fire and began to sink off its coast.

tj/rt (Reuters, AP)


Updated : 2021-06-14 08:44 GMT+08:00