Sri Lanka says more than 30,000 homeless after floods

Dec 18, 2007 (AFP) – Heavy monsoon showers have driven more than 30,000 people from their homes in eastern Sri Lanka, authorities said Tuesday, and delayed the start of a key cricket match with the visiting England team. Incessant weekend rains made some roads impassable, while rice fields were flooded, the national disaster management centre said.

Worst hit was the eastern district of Ampara.

Rains also delayed the start of the Third Test match between the visiting England team and the national cricket team at the southern port city of Galle, officials said.

“As of Tuesday morning, 22,612 people from Ampara district belonging to 5,897 families have been displaced,” deputy emergency relief director Ramya Sriwansha said.

Sri Lanka is in the grip of northeast monsoon showers and the wet weather has also displaced families in eastern areas including Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa.

Some 1,500 families, or 7,500 people, have been forced to find shelter in schools in eastern Batticaloa district, Sriwansha said.
The government is providing dry rations such as rice and lentils along with cooked meals in the temporary shelters.
Elsewhere in the southern coastal town of Galle, wet ground prevented play befor