(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

More bad weather for Sri Lanka, experts warn

Children hitch a ride to their school in Colombo, At least three people are known to have died due to heavy flooding in of western and southern Sri Lanka [18 May 2010]
Courtesy Sujatha Jayarathne/Island

Weather experts in Sri Lanka warn of more heavy rains and possible flooding in the country's eastern and northern regions.

GB Samarasinghe, head of the country's Meteorological Department, told IRIN strong winds were being predicted for end-February. "Weather experts warn of the possibility of extreme weather again," he said, predicting that the flood-affected areas might suffer a second onslaught.

Heavy rains and floods since November 2010 affected 24 of the island's 25 districts, said the Minister of Disaster Management, Mahinda Amaraweera, noting that about 1.2 million people were affected by the floods and more than 300,000 people were still displaced.

According to the UN - which alongside its partners launched a US$51 million appeal to assist those affected over the next six months - the eastern and northern districts bore the brunt of the recent floods, with 94 percent of the affected population living in the three eastern districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee. Flooding caused shortages of rice and several crops such as chilies and onions. The new warning may likely increase the possibility of food shortages.


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