COLOMBO: The toll from Sri Lanka's monsoon rains has reached 23, while 75,000 people have been evacuated and relocated to safer shelters, the country's Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said on Monday.
DMC Spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said of the 23 victims, five were killed after being struck by lightning, reports Xinhua news agency.
As more rains were expected in the coming days, Kodippili said the National Building and Research Organisation has also issued a severe landslide alert in the districts of Kalutara, Galle, Ratnapura, Kegalle and Nuwera Eliya.
"People residing in these red alert areas will be evacuated to safer locations. They will have to remain there till the red alert is lifted," Kodippili said.
A red alert has also been issued to the naval and fishing communities in Puttalam, Batticalo,a Colombo and Galle.
More than 4,000 houses have been partially or fully damaged or inundated.
President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week instructed relevant authorities to immediately provide relief to the affected people.