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Over 300,000 still affected by floods in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Dec. 28 — Sri Lankan authorities are still struggling to assist over 300,000 people affected by floods and repair vital infrastructure to provide relief efficiently, an official said here Friday.

According to the Disaster management Center 342,810 people from 93,435 families have been affected since December 18 when torrential rain caused flash floods and landslides in many parts of the country.

At the height of the crisis 16 out of the 24 districts in the country were affected.

"There have been 42 deaths while 21 people have sustained injuries. A total of 24,502 people of 6,989 families had been evacuated to 148 shelters across the country," DMC spokesman Sarath Lal Kumara told Xinhua.

The floods and landslides in almost all districts of the country had damaged 4,172 houses completely and 10,457 houses partially.

Opposition parties have criticized the government for not assisting affected people. They charge that relief distribution is not taking place efficiently in rural areas with most families having to depend on relatives for help.

However, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has denied these charges and told local media that every effort is being made. He had insisted that army and navy personnel are also being used to distribute relief, rebuild roads and repair dams in flooded areas. (PNA/Xinhua)

HBC/UTB

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