Sri Lanka monsoon floods kill seven people

Floods in Sri Lanka
[BBC]

Flooding and landslides caused by monsoon rains in Sri Lanka have killed at least seven people, the country's Disaster Management Centre (DMC) has said.

In Sitawaka - outside the capital, Colombo - three members of the same family died when their house was flooded.

Supplies of electricity have been cut off in several areas and schools ordered to remain shut on Monday.

Landslide warnings have been issued in nine districts.

DMC Director Pradeep Kodippili told the BBC's Sinhala service that the risk of flooding was rapidly increasing in Colombo and other areas of the south.

"Many areas have reportedly received more than 400mm of rain so far," Mr Kodippili said. "The minor flood risk is increasing to a major flood risk."

He urged Sri Lankans to pay attention to emergency announcements from the government and DMC. The DMC said 20 of the country's 25 districts were affected by the rains.

The military has been mobilised to provide relief to people affected, the government said.

Air Force spokesperson Capt Dushan Wijesinghe told BBC Sinhala that three helicopters and rescue teams had already been deployed to help with relief efforts.

Navy spokesperson Capt Gayan Wickramasuriya said 10 Navy teams had been deployed, adding that a further 116 were prepared to deploy.

The army said it was providing food to displaced people.

Sulakshana Jayawardena of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy told BBC Sinhala that electricity supplies had been disconnected in some areas.

"We have suspended power supplies in these areas in coordination with the DMC," Mr Jayawardena said.

"After the floods subside, we will look at the situation and work to restore electricity."

Additional reporting by Malan Dinuk