In Photos: Floods in Sri Lanka kill over 150, almost half million affected
Up to now 164 people have been killed in Sri Lanka as torrential rain continues to cause landslides and widespread flooding in the country.
The western and southern parts of the country were most severely affected, with Matara, Kalutara, Galle, Rathnapura, Gampaha, Colombo, and Hambantota among the worst hit districts.
Almost 1,800 homes have been damaged, and 4,42,000 people have been affected thus far. With more than 100 people still missing and 80 reported injured, these have been Sri Lanka's worst rains since 2003, when rain lead to the deaths of 250 people.
With the meteorology department predicting a further 36 hours of heavy rains, Sri Lankan authorities have begun to evacuate people from the banks of three overflowing rivers - Nilwala in the south, Gin in the west, and Kelani in Colombo. Sri Lanka has already asked for assistance from UN and neighbouring countries.
The Indian response has been swift, with the country being the first foreign country to launch humanitarian efforts in support of its southern neigbour. The Indian Navy swung into action hours after the Sri Lankan request, with INS Kirch and INS Shardul, both loaded with relief material, docking at the Colombo port. INS Jalashwa, meanwhile, is also en route to Sri Lanka, with even more relief material. The navy's rescue and medical teams, too, have been on the job in the affected region. India had earlier gifted '1990 ambulances' which have also proved useful in the ongoing relief and rescue operations.
Taking a cue from India, China has also moved to provide humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka. The Chinese government has pledged to send US$ 2.2 million worth of aid supplies to Sri Lanka.