Colombo, May 29: Sri Lanka has been battling with heavy rainfall, floods and landslides over the past few days. The death toll due to this natural calamity has risen to 164 by early Monday morning, and is expected to rise over the next couple of days.
The Sri Lankan Department of Meteorology published a Public Weather Report for 30th May, stating that “Cyclone storm ‘Mora’ in the east central of Bay of Bengal is moving away from the island and is expected to make land fall tomorrow across Bangladeshi coast.”
The floods have reached roof level and have cut off access to many rural Sri Lankan villages, disrupting life for half a million people. One such village Agalawatte, 74 km south-east of the capital, is losing hope of water levels falling soon after the heaviest rain since 2003.
One of the worst-hit areas was the southern coastal district of Matara which is home to black tea plantations. Rohan Pethiyagod, head of the Tea Board in the world's largest black tea-exporting country, said supplies would be disrupted for the next tea auction because of lack of transportation.
Sri Lanka has already appealed for international assistance from the United Nations, International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSRAG), and other neighboring countries. India, the first to respond to Lankan requests, has sent three navy ships with emergency supplies. INS Kirch, operating in South of Bay of Bengal, has been diverted to Colombo. Additionally, INS Jalashwan and INS Shardul have arrived in the capital with Human Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR).