Over 175,000 displaced as heavy rains lash Sri Lanka

Dec 24, 2007 (AFP) – Torrential rains have driven more than 175,000 people from their homes in Sri Lanka, authorities said on Monday. Heavy monsoon rains over the weekend made some roads impassable while nearly 2,300 houses had been damaged, the national disaster management centre said.

Worst hit was the eastern district of Batticaloa where close to 156,250 people were forced from their dwellings. The other 19,000 people were displaced in six other districts.

Sri Lanka depends on monsoon rains for irrigation and power generation but the seasonal downpours frequently cause loss of life and damage to property in low-lying areas.

No deaths have been reported in the latest rains. The island’s two main monsoon seasons run from May to September and December to February.