Death toll rises in Sri Lanka floods

At least 58 people have been killed, scores more are trapped and 132 people remain missing after landslides and floods devastated parts of Sri Lanka.

Intense rainfall has caused flooding and landslides in the island country’s Central, North West and Western provinces. With battering rain continuing, 12 districts and more than 400,000 people are affected while 300,000 people have been displaced.

World Vision Lanka in coordination with the Sri Lanka government is distributing prepositioned aid and relief funds. Immediate relief includes food packs, hygiene kits, drinking water, child protection, education provision, and assistance in search and rescue operations.

World Vision Australia Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs director Daryl Crowden said the agency’s primary aim was to ensure that children and their families were protected.

“Flood waters have engulfed entire villages and landslides have ripped through some of the poorest and neediest tea estate and farming communities,” he said. “Rescue workers, including military personnel, are digging through the red mud with their hands.”

Landslide-prone areas are on high alert, with four major landslides over the past three days. A massive landslide on Tuesday May 17 buried three villages in the tea-growing district of Kegalle and search and rescue operations continue in the area.

Floodwaters are also affecting much of the central region, as well as the capital of Colombo.

Among the dead is a World Vision sponsor child, who died while playing on a board floating on the flood waters, as well as two siblings of other sponsored children.

For World Vision comment in Australia, or Sri Lanka

Contact: Stuart Rintoul, World Vision Australia, +61 407 241 492

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