Over 40,000 people have been displaced after heavy rains triggered floods across three Sri Lankan provinces, local officials say.
Authorities in three Northern, North Central and Eastern provinces of the Asian country said that the areas were slammed by floods that came after two days of raining.
Thousands of people were forced to take refuge in schools, temples and community halls in the provinces, they added.
Batticaloa district, located 300 kilometers east of the capital, Colombo, as well as Anuradhapura district, 180 kilometers northeast of the city, was among the worst-hit areas.
“We are providing cooked meals and evacuating people from the affected areas,” disaster management spokesman Lal Kumara said.
The floods have reportedly disrupted road and railway transport services in the affected areas.
A severe drought lashed Anuradhapura and Batticaloa from August to November, destroying large areas of paddy fields.
Sri Lanka has experienced massive landslides and monsoon rains in recent years.
In late October, heavy rainfall caused part of a hillside to sheer off and crash into the Meeriyabedda tea plantation near the town of Haldummulla, about 200 kilometer east of Colombo. Nearly 40 people were reported missing or dead in the incident.
In 2011, flooding killed over a dozen people and displaced more than one million others in many parts of the country.
Landslides and floods also killed nearly 20 people and forced more than 150,000 others from their homes in the southern districts of Galle and Kalutara, the southeastern districts of Kegalla and Ratnapura and the central hilly areas in 2008.