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UN appeals for Sri Lanka aid

The United Nations said yesterday it will launch an appeal for emergency flood aid in Sri Lanka as rescue efforts were mounted to reach those marooned.

As many as 390,000 people have been driven from their homes and at least 3,744 houses have been destroyed, according to the country's disaster management centre.

Meanwhile, the death toll continued to rise as flooding swamped areas in the east of the country, leaving hundreds of people homeless. At least 37 people had been confirmed dead by yesterday afternoon, and the cost of the floods has been estimated at €374m.

Medical units have been sent to the area to help those sheltering in crowded relief camps. However, only six tonnes of aid was moved yesterday, according to the country's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper.

Four camps have been set up to help flood victims and reports said troops had been deployed to distribute food and medical supplies. The US said it was sending aid and it supplied boats to rescue the stranded and distribute bottled water, cooking materials and tarpaulins.

The floods followed heavy rainfall in the east of the country.

Ten more people were reported dead yesterday and at least 12 more are missing and 49 injured. The worst hit district was Batticaloa, where 18 deaths were reported.

© Observer

Sunday Independent