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71 killed, 127 missing as foreign aid reaches flood-hit Lanka

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Colombo: At least 71 people were killed and 127 others remained missing in floods and landslides triggered by the heaviest rains in Sri Lanka in over a quarter century as two Indian naval relief ships arrived here today with supplies.

Relief vessel INS Sunayna arrived at Colombo port with goods from Kochi, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said.

Last night, India had dispatched sent its two naval ships – INS Sunayna and survey vessel INS Sutlej – and a C-17 aircraft with relief material like – inflatable boats, outboard motors, diving equipment, medical supplies, electricity generators and sleeping bags, officials said.


The aircraft also carried 700 tents, 1,000 tarpaulin sheets, 10 electric generators, 100 emergency lamps and medication against epidemics for 10,000 people, apart from torches, raincoats, umbrellas, folding mattresses, water filters and water purification equipment. These had been identified as priority relief materials by Sri Lankan authorities.

“Sri Lanka occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of Indians, and India’s emergency relief assistance is a manifestation of our abiding friendship. India will continue to work closely with the government of Sri Lanka to address longer term rehabilitation needs of the affected people as part of its development partnership with Sri Lanka,” the Indian High Commission here said in a release.

At least 127 people remain missing at Aranayake, the site of the landslide disaster in the southwestern district of Kegalle, National Disaster Management Centre said today.

President Maithripala Sirisena urged Sri Lankans to provide shelter and donate cash or food to flood victims.

“There had been a huge outpouring of sympathy for victims with donations of food, clothing and dry rations,” local officials said. Some 375,604 people remain displaced in 22 districts in Sri Lanka. The country has begun receiving international assistance, they added.

Nearly, 300,000 people have been staying in about 500 state-run relief centres.