Colombo, Oct 9 (IANS) The death toll from the heavy rains in Sri Lanka rose to nine on Tuesday, leading to thousands of people being evacuated from their homes, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.
DMC spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said that more than 100 mm of rain had been recorded from certain areas in the south while more rains were expected on Tuesday and Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
Over 48,000 people have been affected since the rains began on Saturday while over 5,000 families had evacuated their homes and were housed in 21 safe shelters.
Those living in low lying areas were also urged to evacuate as the spill gates of major reservoirs were opened due to heavy rainfall.
A red landslide alert was also issued in the Kalutara district in the south. Kodippili said the military had begun evacuating people residing in the risk areas to safer shelters.
The military and police have been called in to assist evacuate families and save those stranded as a result of the disaster situation.
Army spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Athapaththu said that 1,200 soldiers had been placed on standby to assist and attend to those stranded by the floods.
Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the government together with rescue teams were providing immediate relief to those affected by providing cooked food, drinking water, dry rations and medicines.
The Meteorology Department said in its latest weather update that heavy rains were expected in the coming two days as the depression in the Bay of Bengal was now concentrated into a deep depression and was located 950 km away from Trincomalee in the east.
The department said very heavy falls of above 150 mm could be expected at some places in Western, North Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces and in the southern districts of Galle and Matara.
Heavy falls of about 100 mm were also expected in the Uva province.