Floods in the past two months following a long drought have left Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern provinces reeling, with tens of thousands of people displaced, thousands of houses damaged or destroyed, and stretches of agricultural land devastated.
Rain beginning on December 16 has affected at least 350,000 people, displaced 31,000, killed 39 and left seven missing, according to the nation’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC). Storms have thus far damaged 12,000 houses and destroyed another 4,100 in the country’s North Western, Northern, Eastern and Uva (in the southeast) provinces.
“The worst-hit are Batticaloa [Eastern Province] and Puttalam districts [North Western Province]. The rains are still prevalent and we might see the damage rising,” DMC assistant director Lal Kumara told IRIN on December 28th.
The same regions were hit by Cyclone Nisha in early November, which affected around 200,000 people and displaced close to 20,000, who have since returned home. Kumara said in Nisha’s aftermath, nine people were reported killed, over 300 houses destroyed and another 4,700 damaged.
Officials say the two storms may have had a sizable impact on the country’s agriculture.
Read more of the story here at the IRIN news service:
SRI LANKA: Back-to-back disasters compound north’s difficulties