Sri Lanka closes schools as the death toll from floods and mudslides rises to 16

Sri Lanka has closed schools as heavy rain triggered floods and mudslides in many parts of the island nation, leaving at least 16 people dead

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka closed schools on Monday as the death toll due to floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rains in many parts of the island nation, rose to 16 people, officials said.

The education ministry announced that the reopening of schools would depend on how the weather develops.

Heavy downpours have wreaked havoc in many parts of the country since Sunday, flooding homes, fields and roads, and forcing authorities to cut electricity as a precaution.

Twelve people died after being washed away and drowning near the capital, Colombo, and the remote Rathnapura, Matara and Galle districts on Sunday, according to the disaster management center. Three others died when mounds of earth collapsed on their houses, and one person died when a tree fell on him.

Separately, five people were injured when mudslides struck and damaged two houses in Ratnapura, which is about 86 kilometers (53 miles) southeast of Colombo, said the center.

By Monday, over 6,000 people had been moved to evacuation centers and more than 12,000 homes had been damaged, the center said in a statement.

Navy and army troops have been deployed to rescue victims and provide food and other essentials to those affected.

Sri Lanka has been grappling with severe weather conditions since mid-May caused by heavy monsoon rains. Earlier, strong winds downed trees in many areas, killing nine people.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP