The Foreign Ministry in a statement on Friday said Sri Lanka made an appeal to the UN, the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and neighbouring countries to provide assistance for the affected people, especially in the areas where search and rescue operations were ongoing.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has activated the Emergency Response Unit of the Ministry, to coordinate rescue and relief measures related to the flood situation in several parts of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Ministry of Disaster Management, has made an appeal to UN, International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and neighbouring countries to provide assistance to affected people, especially in the areas of search and rescue operations.”
The Disaster Management Center said the death toll from flash floods and landslides had risen to 91 by Friday evening while 110 people were reported missing and over 52,000 displaced after hours of severe rain and strong winds.
Evacuations have also begun on the outskirts of the capital as a flood warning has been issued due to the rising waters in three major rivers.
Hours of rains and winds had inundated towns, railways and highways hampering transport services. The education ministry ordered schools to be shut due to the inclement weather.
The Sri Lanka Red Cross said at least 500,000 people were affected by the severe rains and their teams were on the ground in the affected areas providing assistance.
As search for those missing continued by the tri-forces, police said the death toll could rise.
The Meteorology Department has warned of more rains in the next 24 hours.