Hundreds of thousands displaced by floods in eastern Sri Lanka

Nearly a million people have been displaced by floods in central and eastern Sri Lanka according to United Nations Agencies. Reports say that flood waters in some areas are two meters higher than normal and still rising. 18 deaths have been reported. Patrick Maigua reports from Geneva.

Families displaced by floods in Sri Lanka

Families displaced by floods in Sri Lanka

At least 14 districts in central and eastern Sri Lanka have been affected by the floods triggered by four days of non-stop heavy rain since the weekend.

The worst affected district is Batticaloa where nearly 600,000 people or 90 per cent of the population has been displaced.

United Nations agencies have began sending relief supplies to the affected regions and with most roads rendered impassable, the Sri Lankan army is using boats to deliver much needed aid.

UNICEF is sending water tanks, water purification tablets, tarpaulins and cooking pots to ensure families and children have access to safe drinking water and are able to maintain basic levels of hygiene.

The World Health Organization is supporting mobile medical clinics set up to provide health services to the displaced population.

The Sri Lankan government says the rains are the heaviest to hit the affected regions since 1917 and has appealed for international assistance.

The United Nations is expected to launch a flash appeal for emergency funds to respond to the flood crisis.

Patrick Maigua at the United Nations.

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