The death toll from the heavy rains and winds in Sri Lanka rose to 12 on Thursday, with over 69,000 others across the island nation affected, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. DMC Spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said that even though the rains have now reduced, displaced in safe shelters were urged not to return to their homes due to the threat of landslides, reports Xinhua news agency. He said people living in low lying areas were also advised to be cautious as rivers had reached dangerous levels and could overflow.
Kodippili said a red landslide warning remained in place in Kalutara district and people in the risk-prone areas had been evacuated to safe shelters. Hundreds of officials from the security forces and the police had been deployed in the flooded areas and were continuing in rescue operations and distributing first aid and dry rations to those affected.
President Maithripala Sirisena has also ordered for the continuous supply of dry rations, drinking water and health facilities to be distributed to those who were in safe shelters and those affected by the floods. The Meteorology Department in its latest weather update said the severe Cyclonic Storm “Titli” in the Bay of Bengal, which had brought heavy rains, was now located 1,200 km away from Trincomalee in the east, and was likely to intensify further and move north-westwards later Thursday. However, it warned that heavy falls of about 75 mm could be expected in some districts in Sri Lanka.