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One million homes flooded, 14 dead in Sri Lanka monsoon

media A destroyed village in Batticaloa last month Reuters/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

At least 14 people have died in Sri Lanka's monsoon rains, which have flooded more than a million people’s homes, officials said. The seasonal rain, which started in December, is being described as the heaviest in 100 years.

As more towns and villages are hit by floodwater, the number of people in state-run shelters had risen to 236,000 by Saturday evening, the Disaster Management Centre in Colombo said.

The homes of 1,053,000 people have been inundated, it said.

Police figures showed that at least 14 people had been killed in flood-related incidents in the past week.

Roads and fields were submerged across the east, centre and north of the island, with the torrential rains hampering rescue efforts. Authorities have issued a landslide alert in the central highlands and declared a state of emergency in some areas.

Last month 43 people were killed by floods in the same regions and the number of people driven from their homes also passed one million.

The United Nations has issued an appeal for 51 million dollars (37 million euros) in emergency aid to help people affected by last month's floods.

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