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Heavy rains, floods, and landslides hit Sri Lanka, at least 5 dead

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At least 5 people have been killed by recent harsh weather conditions in Sri Lanka, disaster officials reported on October 23, 2019. Heavy rainfall, lightning strikes, floods, and landslides have hit several provinces in the country.

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) said that the affected provinces were the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Uva, North-Western, Southern, Northern, and Eastern.

Four fatalities were reported in the district of Badulla in Uva province after flooding and lightning struck the area. The fifth fatality was reported in the Rathnapura district in Sabaragamuwa province due to landslide.

As of October 23, at least 1 661 people were taking refuge in three relief camps in Gampaha, Western province after severe flooding forced them to flee their residences.

Dehiowita in Kegalle district, Sabaragamuwa province received 135 mm (5 inches) of rain in 24 hours to October 22, according to Sri Lanka's Department of Meteorology.

Furthermore, "fairly heavy falls about 75 mm (2.95 inches) can be expected at some places in Central, Sabaragamuwa, Uva, and North-western provinces and in Kaluthara, Batticaloa and Ampara districts," the department said.

Landslide warnings have been released for the residents in the districts of Ratnapura, Kegalle, Kalurata, and Badulla, said the National Building Research Organization (NBRO).

According to Sri Lanka's Irrigation Department, although there was torrential rain, only one river rose above the alert level. The Kalu Ganga river in Millakanda near Bulathsinhala, Kalutara district reached 5.6 m (18 feet) as of October 23. The alert level is 5 m (16 feet) and the major one is 8 m (26 feet).

In September, extreme flooding affected parts of Sri Lanka, killing one and displacing 15 000.

Featured image credit: Travels Dzoon/YouTube

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