Sri Lanka Flood Kills over 200 People; Displaces over Half a Million

As flood waters rise in Sri Lanka, rescue efforts continue. Image courtesy of trokilinochchi

Sri Lanka is facing their worst floods since 2003. In it, over 200 people have been killed.

Per The Indian Express, “The death toll in Sri Lanka’s floods has climbed to 202 with 94 people still missing in the country’s worst torrential rains since 2003 that displaced nearly half a million people. The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said at least 629,742 people of 163,701 families have been affected by the bad weather.”

The district with the most deaths is the Ratnapura district.

CNN reports, “Particularly affected is the district of Matara. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that there were still pockets where people were marooned, and rescue work was continuing. The nearby Ratnapura district, 63 miles southeast of the capital, Colombo, had the highest death count of any area, with 79 deaths.”

Just two months before the rains came, Sri Lanka was in a drought. Nothing would grow in Sri Lanka. The reason for all the rain is the monsoon.

Al Jazeera explains, “The DMC said the monsoon ended a prolonged drought that had threatened agriculture as well as hydropower generation.”

No relief workers, except for the army could go into those areas badly affected by the flooding, because of high waters. Relief workers from other governments have joined the efforts.

Per The Indian Express, “Indian naval divers and medical teams have joined rescue efforts in Lanka’s flood-hit regions. The Indian contingent of more than 300 navy personnel was assisting in the relief, with divers searching the brackish waters and medical teams seeing patients in makeshift tents set up at shelters.”

Those who used to have homes and livelihoods, all of that is destroyed. Even with the rain ending, the rivers continued to rise until the submerged whole houses and businesses except for the roofs.

CNN reports, “‘The next day the waters began to rise gradually. Then the flow was so fast that we could not stand up. My wife, four children and I were very frightened. We did not know what would happen to us now. With great difficulty we managed to walk out,’” he (Pathmasiri) said. They are taking temporary shelter in a school.” Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers have been affected. Their churches and homes are also under water. They’re glad to have escaped the floods. Gospel for Asia (GFA) Compassion Services are waiting for approval to help not only believers, but anyone in need.

Gospel for Asia explains, “‘”We can only pray and wait till we can travel to these areas,’” Vidu says. “‘The immediate need will be to supply cooked meals and drinking water to the affected families. We can only do this when clearance is received to visit areas.’”

Please pray for Sri Lanka, that waters would recede so many relief organizations would be able to help those affected. Pray for GFA-supported Compassion Services, that many would see God’s hope through them.

CNN: Sri Lanka floods: Battle to rescue stranded as death toll tops 180

The Indian Express: Sri Lanka floods death toll exceeds 200

Al Jazeera: Sri Lanka floods, landslides: Death toll rises to 122

Gospel for Asia: Relief Workers Wait Anxiously While Death Toll Climbs in Sri Lanka Flooding

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