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Sheltering flood victims in Sri Lanka

Colombo (UCAN): Caritas Sri Lanka has come to the assistance of thousands of people affected by floodwaters and landslides that have so far left at least 58 people dead and 132 missing.

Heavy rains have lashed the island nation since the weekend of May 14 and 15, flooding wide scathes of Colombo and large areas of the country’s central region.

“We left everything except our clothes. Our home is completely covered with water,” M. Karunathilaka, from Kolonnawa near Colombo, who is now taking refuge in a camp built on the grounds of a church, explained.

A government press release notes that over 400,000 people have been affected by the disaster and those who have been displaced are being temporally housed in 611 schools, churches, temples and other centres.

Prasanna Prasad Kumara, the administration officer of Caritas Anuradhapura, said, “At this very moment our officials are mobilised to help with the immediate needs of the affected.”

Father Rohan De Alwis, the director of Caritas Colombo, said that they had already informed parish priests to take initiatives to help people.

Due to the heavy rain, three villages were hit by massive landslides in Aranayaka, Kegalle district on May 17 and many people are said to be missing. The rescuers have so far pulled 22 dead bodies from the mud.

Caritas has appealed to Catholics in the country to donate dry rations or cash to help those affected by the flooding.

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