Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka floods kill 9, more than 8,000 homeless

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COLOMBO, May 4 (Reuters) - Heavy rain triggered flooding and a small landslide along Sri Lanka's coastal belt, killing nine people and forcing more than 8,000 from their homes, as the island heads into the monsoon season, officials said on Friday.

The dead included a woman who fell through a manhole cover in the capital Colombo and was swept into an underground canal, while two people were killed in a landslide near the southern port town of Galle.

Roads around Colombo were flooded on Thursday, causing traffic chaos and forcing the Stock Exchange to open late because many traders were struggling to get to work. The capital was badly flooded again on Friday.

"Nine people have been killed over the past 24 hours due to heavy rains. We now have around 8,300 people displaced from flooded houses," said Sarath Wijeyratne of the National Disaster Management Centre.

"They have been moved to temples and relatives houses and other places."

Meteorology Department officials said rains were subsiding, and had not reached the landslide-prone central tea-growing hills.

Monsoon rains are due to arrive later this month and run through to September, typically causing widespread flooding and displacement.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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