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19 Sep 2018, 18:38 HRS IST
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  • PTI
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  • Death toll from Lanka floods rise to 146

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14:21 HRS IST

(Eds: Updating with death toll)

Colombo, May 28 (PTI)
The death toll from Sri Lanka's worst floods since 2003 today rose to 146, as security forces and rescuers stepped up search and rescue operations after weather condition improved and floodwaters receded.

Around 4,42,299 people belonging to 1,14,124 families were affected in 15 districts due to the flood situation, the Disaster Management Centre said today.

According to the Centre, 146 people were killed and 112 remained missing while 1,01,638 people belonging to 24,603 families were shifted to 319 safe locations.

"Although the heavy rainy condition has reduced temporary, showery conditions are likely to enhance again over south-western part of the island from 29th May 2017," the Meteorological Department said.

Hence windy condition is expected to continue over the sea areas. These winds can be strengthened during the showers, it said.

The fishing community in the country have been alerted about the condition.

Sri Lanka's tri-forces personnel including more than 1,000 Army troops were engaged in the rescue and relief operations.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Ministry of Disaster Management, appealed to the United Nations, International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and neighbouring countries to provide assistance to affected people, especially in the areas of search and rescue operations.

India was the first country to respond yesterday to the grave situation and it dispatched three Navy ships with emergency supplies to help Sri Lanka in the rescue and relief operations.

INS Kirch yesterday diverted to Colombo to render immediate assistance in flood relief operations.

Other Indian ship -- INS Shardul reached Colombo today with relief materials. A third ship -- INS Jalashwa has also left for Sri Lanka.

The flooding is the worst since May 2003 when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed after a similarly powerful Southwest monsoon, officials had said.

Last year, more than 100 people were killed in a massive landslide in the country.

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