Sri Lanka: Major floods death toll rises to 92, 109 still missing
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Sri Lanka: Major floods death toll rises to 92, 109 still missing

WEEK-LONG floods and landslides throughout Sri Lanka have pushed the death toll up to 92, with authorities fearing 109 people are still missing.

Eight bodies have been recovered by soldiers, all victims of landslides that buried three villages in the central hills, said the Disaster Management Center.

The onslaught of rain was hindering the search, but Maj. Gel Sudatha Ranasinghe hopes to pick up the search as the weather turns favorable now that it has stopped in many parts of the island.

Ranasinghe is coordinating search efforts in the district of Kegalle, along with troops deployed by the government and aid organizations such as Red Cross.

237,240 people have been displaced as a result of the floods, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Rights (UNOCHA), published on Relief Web, and have been moved to “safe locations” including schools, religious places, and community centers.

Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, urged people to provide shelter, and donate food or cash in a televised address on Sunday, where he also said help was coming thanks to “our friends in the international community”.

Xinhua News Agency reported foreign aid from India and the U.S. arrived at the island nation on Saturday, with the U.S. donating US$50,000 in emergency humanitarian aid. India sent in two naval ships loaded with aid supplies.

The Red Cross Society of China also donated US$50,000 for flood recovery efforts, while the Turkish Red Crescent sent in relief stock yesterday.

The UNOCHA report said these are the worst floods Sri Lanka has experienced in 25 years, and flood waters are not likely to recede for several days.

Additional reporting by Associated Press