Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sri Lanka floods displace tens of thousands in East

Heavy monsoon rains have driven more than 31,000 people out of their homes in Sri Lanka’s eastern district of Ampara, disaster officials said Wednesday.

Incessant rainfall over the past few days have made some roads impassable, the disaster management centre said. Those displaced are being housed in schools, temples and other public buildings and are being provided with food by state and private charities, said the country’s deputy director for emergency relief, Ramya Sriwansha. No deaths have been reported, he added.

Sri Lanka depends on monsoon rains for irrigation and power generation but the seasonal downpours frequently cause loss of life and damage to property in low-lying areas. The island’s two main monsoon seasons run from May to September and December to February.