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President meets flood victims
 

President Mahinda Rajapakse, soon after swearing-in the new Cabinet of Ministers yesterday, visited several areas submerged by torrential rains that engulfed many parts of the island during the last few days and inquired after the needs of the affected people.

According to the Presidential Secretariat Media Unit, a large number of families were displaced as a result of the floods caused by the heavy rains throughout the country. The President arrived at the Khettharama Stadium and met people displaced as a result of the rising rain waters in the areas of Maligawatta and Khettharama and directed relevant authorities to provide remedies.

Public security personnel including the three Armed Forces and social services and human disaster management services are engaged in providing relief to the flood victims.

Meanwhile, the floods affecting several districts are likely to abate in the next 24 hours with the water levels of rivers starting to recede.

According to the Irrigation Department, water levels of a number of rivers including the Kelani Ganga and Kalu Ganga which reached a minor flood stage owing to torrential rains during the last two days had started to decrease from yesterday morning.

Assistant Deputy Director of the Hydrology Branch S.M. Premasiri told the Daily News that the water level of the Kelani Ganga which was 5.6 feet yesterday has now come down to 5.4 while the Kalu Ganga water level which reached 3.5 feet yesterday has also dropped to 3.3.

"Although they are still above the minor flood level we expect that the water level will continue to recede since no substantial rainfall has been reported from the catchment areas," he said.

He said that the water levels of the Nilwala and Ginganga have also started to come down although intermittent showers are still experienced in the Western and Southern provinces.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department said the low pressure condition causing the rainy weather though moving away from Sri Lanka has not fully ceased to affect the country. Accordingly, thunder showers may occur in the Wayamba, Western, Sabaragamuwa, North Central and central provinces and the Galle districts.

Yesterday's highest rainfall of 88.8 mm was reported from Ratmalana while Colombo and Katunayake recorded a rainfall of 49.1 mm and 82.6 mm respectively.

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