Sri Lankan President orders urgent relief to disaster-stricken people

Nov 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed state officials to assess the situation in the areas hit by heavy rains and winds today and provide urgent relief to the people affected by the disaster immediately.

The President has met with relevant authorities this morning at the Temple Trees to discuss the immediate measures need to be taken to provide relief to the people affected by the heavy rains and winds in southern coastal areas.

He has ordered to deploy trained personnel from the security forces to provide urgent assistance to the local officials to restore normalcy in the affected areas.

Heavy winds and rains that lashed the southern coastal districts of Galle and Matara Friday have been blamed for 8 deaths. A group of fishermen who ventured in to the sea is reportedly missing while four bodies of fishermen have so far been recovered.

The President has emphasized the importance of securing the public from natural disasters and also discussed the need of a proper insurance scheme to compensate the damaged houses, the government media unit reported.

Meanwhile torrential rains experienced in many districts have caused flooding and earth slips.

Overflowing water reservoirs in the Eastern Province have flooded roads and the transportation has been hampered in many areas in the Province.

About 50,000 acres of paddy fields have been submerged following heavy rain experienced in the Batticaloa District while many low-lying areas in Trincomalee district are under water, the state-run TV reported.

Earth slips have closed some roads in the up country areas in Badulla district and authorities have issued possible landslides warnings.

According to the Department of Irrigation many water reservoirs in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts are overflowing and Mahaweli River is also reaching the spill level.

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