India provides help as death toll tops 100 in Sri Lanka floods
An Indian Navy vessel with aid materials arrived in Colombo today because many of the worst floods since 2003 killed in Sri Lanka rose to 100, and authorities warned against further rain. The Disaster Management Center issued an emergency evacuation alert for residents living along the Kelani River and Kollonnawa, Kaduwela, Wellampitiya, Kelaniya, Biyagama, Sedawatte, DOMPE, Hanwella, Padukka and Avissawella divisions.
At least 200,382 people belonging to 52,603 families have been affected in 14 districts. In addition, 12,007 people out of 2937 families were moved to safe places like 69 on Saturday morning, he said.
The death toll has exceeded 100, while another 99 were missing, officials said, but did not provide exact figures.
Staff of the three Sri Lankan forces, more than 1,000 army soldiers, are engaged in rescue and rescue operations.
A Sri Lankan air force (SLAF) airman died after falling from a helicopter during a flood rescue operation in the Neluwa region of Galle.
The Department of Meteorology said rain and wind conditions should continue.
“Rains or storms sometimes occur in the western provinces, Sabaragamuwa, South, Central and Northwest,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, in coordination with the Ministry of Disaster Management, has called on the United Nations, the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and neighboring countries to provide assistance to stakeholders in Particularly in the areas of search and rescue operations.
India has shipped three navy ships with emergency supplies to help Sri Lanka in rescue and rescue operations.
The first ship of the Indian Navy with relief and rescue supplies arrived in the port of Colombo this morning.
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who was present to receive the ship, said: “We are very grateful to India for sending short-term relief so quickly.”
He said that India’s commitment to sending aid materials demonstrated Indo-London relations are at an excellent level.
INS Kirch diverted in Colombo to provide immediate assistance in flood relief operations, arrived today in Colombo. First Indian Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu delivered the aid articles provided by Chancellor INS Kirch, Ravi Karunanayake.
Two other ships of the Indian Navy – INS Shardul and INS – Jalashwa also left Sri Lanka with aid materials, including food and water medicines.
Medical and diving equipment and ships and helicopters are also being sent aboard INS Jalashwa to help Sri Lanka to rescue people from an area affected by the floods, said Navy spokesman Indian Captain DK Sharma.
Flooding is the worst since May 2003, when 250 people died and 10,000 homes were destroyed after a similar southwest monsoon, officials said.
The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had activated the Emergency Response Unit to coordinate relief and rescue measures in relation to the flood situation.
Sri Lanka, which has been heavily deforested for cash crops, often bears witness to landslides during the monsoon season.
Last year, more than 100 people died in a landslide in the country.