3 killed, over 8,000 affected by severe weather in Sri Lanka

A woman attempting to open her umbrella under heavy downpour in Colombo on May 18, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (XINHUA) - Three people were killed and more than 8,000 affected as heavy rains and strong winds lashed out across Sri Lanka since Saturday, prompting disaster management officials to be on alert for possible evacuations, the Disaster Management Centre said on Sunday (May 20).

The three deaths, caused by lightning, were reported from the Eastern District of Trincomalee and in the lower central hills of Badulla.

At least 252 people had been evacuated to safer locations since last week while more than 200 houses were partially or fully damaged due to the severe weather.

Sri Lanka is facing its annual southwest monsoons with the Meteorological Department in its latest weather report warning of more rains in several districts across the country in the coming days.

"The Southwest monsoon conditions are getting established over the island. Very heavy falls, about 150 millimeters can be expected at some places in Sabaragamuwa province while heavy falls, above 100 millimeters can be expected at some places, particularly in Western Central and Uva provinces and in Galle and Matara districts," the latest weather report said.

The Meteorological Department further warned the public to take adequate precautions to minimise damage caused by lightning.

More than 200 people were killed and 78 people missing when the southwest monsoons caused severe floods and landslides across Sri Lanka last year.

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