At least 40 killed as heavy rains lash south India, Sri Lanka

New Delhi/Colombo, Nov 12 (EFE).- At least 40 people have been killed in Sri Lanka and southern India due to heavy rains that have lashed the region over the past few days, along with widespread damage to crops and infrastructure, officials said on Friday.

According to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Center, at least 26 people were killed and over 200,000 were affected in the country over the last two weeks, mainly due to landslides and flooding.

Three members of the same family were killed in a landslide in the Dambulla sector of the central province, including a 36-year-old woman, her eight-year-old daughter and a niece aged 13.

Many areas of the Sabaragamuwa province, where floods and landslides are a common occurrence, have been cut off by floods since Monday due to heavy rain, local resident Nushan Sanjeewa told EFE.

“We were worried because it rained for two continuous days before the floods. We found it difficult to go to work because the roads were blocked,” he said, adding that even the shops along the roads had been submerged in water.

“We are expecting thunderstorms and showers in some areas of the country. The highest rainfall occurred in the Northern Province during the last 24 hours,” Preethika Jayakody, a weather forecaster with the department of meteorology, told EFE.

Heavy rains are unusual in the island for this time of the year.

“This is the inter-monsoon period. We are experiencing temporary heavy rains and winds due to low pressure in the Indian region,” Jayakody said.

Authorities have extended an alert for fishermen to watch out for strong winds over the next few hours.

In India’s southernmost state of Tamil Nadu – situated close to Sri Lanka’s northern coast – at least 14 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in the last two weeks, the regional disaster management authority said.

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