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23 Dec 2019 | 08:39 AM UTC

Sri Lanka: Heavy rains leave at least two dead as of December 23

Heavy rains, flash floods, and landslides leave at least two people dead in Sri Lanka as of December 23; additional flooding and landslides to be expected over the short term



At least two people were killed and over 17,000 people evacuated following flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain as of Monday, December 23. According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), flooding has affected over 65,000 people and damaged at least 1,500 houses, especially in the Northern and Central province. Rescue operations are ongoing.

The Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology (SDM) forecast between 75-150 mm (3-6 in) of rain to continue in Northern and Central provinces, and in Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, and Trincomalee districts over the coming hours. Further rainfall between 50-75 mm (2-3 in) are forecast in the Sabaragamuwa and Western provinces.

Further flooding, landslides, and residual power outages are likely in the affected regions over the coming days, as well as associated transportation and business disruptions.


Individuals in Sri Lanka are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions and flight reservations before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult