64 dead as Sri Lanka experiences heaviest rain in 25 years

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COLOMBO. KAZINFORM - At least 64 people have died in Sri Lanka in rain-triggered landslides and other disasters as rescue workers continued their search for the more than 100 who remain missing, the National Center for Disaster Management said Friday.

A major flooding occurred on the Kelani River, displacing around 200,000 people from the homes along the river bank as the South Asian country was pounded by rain since last weekend in its heaviest rainfall in 25 years, Kyodo reports.
"There is very little chance of our digging anybody out alive," said a government official at a disaster site.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that half a million people have been driven out of their homes countrywide, a majority of them in the greater Colombo area.
"The damage to homes and industries is huge," the minister said.
Foreign countries have begun offering assistance to Sri Lanka, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressing his condolences in a message to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Tokyo deciding to provide emergency relief supplies.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency will initially provide plastic sheets, water purification plants and generators, the Japanese Embassy in Colombo said.
The Indian government also said it will extend help and relief materials to Sri Lanka, according to officials.
The Indian navy will dispatch two ships along with boats and divers, while a military aircraft will transport goods such as medical supplies, tents and emergency lights to the Sri Lankan capital, they said.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country stands resolutely to help the government and people of Sri Lanka in dealing with the devastations.

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