Widespread floods, mudslides in Sri Lanka: 200,000 homeless

Colombo: Nearly 200,000 people have lost their homes because of the flooding caused by incessant rains in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka.

They have been forced to take refuge in temporary shelters. The government has set up over 500 relief camps in schools, temples, churches and government buildings.

18 people have been killed in the central and eastern provinces because of floods and mudslides.

The air force has been using helicopters to evacuate people to safety and to drop food supplies to communities which have been cut off for nearly a week.

Responding to a request from the  Sri Lankan Government, India is preparing to dispatch relief material.

Bad weather forced Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to abandon his trip to survey the flood damaged areas on Wednesday.

An estimated 160,000 hectares of paddy has gone underwater. This could have a serious impact on the future rice production of the country.

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