Severe storm strikes Sri Lanka, leaving 3 people dead and over 8 000 affected

Severe storm strikes Sri Lanka, leaving 3 people dead and over 8 000 affected

Severe storms that hit Sri Lanka on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, 2018, left at least three people dead and over 8 000 affected. Weather authorities warned residents the country is facing its annual southwest monsoon and that more rains are expected in several districts across the country in the days ahead.

Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center said Sunday that three deaths were caused by lightning strikes in the Eastern District of Trincomalee and in the lower central hills of Badulla.

Over 200 homes were destroyed or damaged and at least 252 people evacuated to safer locations since last week, officials said, as reported by Xinhua.

Southwest monsoon conditions are getting established over the island, the latest weather report issued by Sri Lanka's Meteorological Department said.

Prevailing rainy condition along with cloudy skies in the South-west part of the island is expected to continue on May 21. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North-western provinces while other locations can expect the same particularly after 14:00 local time.

Very heavy falls, about 150 mm (5.9 inches) can be expected at some places in Sabaragamuwa province.

Heavy falls, above 100 mm (3.9 inches) can be expected at some places, particularly in Western Central and Uva provinces and in Galle and Matara districts.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

The general public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

Last year, severe floods and landslides caused by southwest monsoon killed over 200 and left 78 people missing.

Featured image: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS satellite image acquired May 20, 2018

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