Sri Lanka: A million hit by island's worst crisis since tsunami
Sri Lanka is battling to confront widescale monsoon flooding that has affected more than one million people and which the government says is second only to the 2004 tsunami in terms of the devastation it has caused.
Around 30,000 troops are struggling to get aid and emergency supplies to the worst-hit areas in the country's centre and east, where upto 325,000 people have been forced from their homes. So far, the death toll stands at 23.
"The situation here is quite terrible," said S Raguraamamurty, a co-ordinator with the charity Oxfam. "We are facing immense challenges. An immediate priority is getting food and drinking water to people."
The government yesterday said it would send pregnant women and young children to hospital as a preventive measure amid concerns that waterborne diseases could spread.
Days of heavy rains during the second of Sri Lanka's two annual monsoons have triggered flash floods and mudslides and created a huge logistical challenge for the authorities. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had to postpone a trip by helicopter to some of the affected areas. In a statement published in a state-run newspaper, Mr Rajapaksa said: "[It is] the duty of all to join hands and help the victims at this hour of need without any discrimination or petty considerations."
Many villages in the Eastern Province have been inundated by the water, with some villages entirely cut off and accessible only by sea. Community leaders in the area have warned that tens of thousands of people were in need of food and medical supplies.
A number of areas affected by the deadly 2004 tsunami have also been struck by the floods.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 3 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 4 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Australian jihadist Abdullah Elmir vows Isis will fight 'until black flag is on the top of Buckingham Palace'
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teacher requi...
£36000 - £60000 per annum: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client are a we...