Nearly 200 people are dead or missing after very heavy monsoon rains caused severe floods and mudslides in several southern and western areas of drought-stricken Sri Lanka. Some areas reportedly received 12 months worth of rain within just 24 hours on Thursday, May 25 and Friday, May 26, 2017. The government has advised people living near swollen rivers and areas prone to landslides to evacuate their homes.

The Sri Lankan Department of Meteorology reported on Friday that Kukuleganga in Sri Lanka’s southwestern Kalutara District broke rainfall records with 553 mm (21.8 inches) of rain in 24 hours. 488.2 mm (19.2 inches) of rain was recorded in Ratnapura, the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, May 25 into 26. Friday’s flooding was caused by rivers bursting their banks, but unusually heavy rain triggered more than a dozen landslides burying homes on mountain slopes.  READ MORE