Floods drive 231,000 from their homes in Sri Lanka

November 27, 2008 (AFP) – At least two government soldiers drowned and more than 230,000 civilians were driven from their homes in Sri Lanka’s embattled north Thursday after monsoon floods and a mini-cyclone, officials said. The Disaster Management centre said the northern peninsula of Jaffna was the worst hit, with 2,032 homes completely destroyed and another 5,000 partly damaged by an overnight cyclone that swept the region and dumped heavy rain.

Military officials said monsoon flooding had also slowed a military advance on the town of Kilinochchi, the political capital of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the island. Sri Lanka depends on monsoon rains for irrigation and power generation, but the seasonal downpours also cause loss of life and damage to property.