18/05/2016 9:48 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Dozens Feared Dead, Hundreds Missing After Torrential Rains Lash Sri Lanka

ISHARA S.KODIKARA via Getty Images
Sri Lankan residents travel by boat through the floodwaters in Pugoda, about 35 kms from capital Colombo on May 17, 2016.Heavy rains claimed three more lives in Sri Lanka on May 17, raising weather-related deaths to 11 as more than 50,000 families were driven out of their flooded homes, officials said / AFP / ISHARA S.KODIKARA (Photo credit should read ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Forty have been feared dead and hundreds buried in landslides in Sri Lanka after torrential rains and flash floods lashed the island country over the last two days.

With the disaster forcing people out of their homes, around 2,00,000 people have found refuge in welfare centres while estimates are as many as 3,46,000 people have been affected by the disaster, according a CNN news report.

Rains lashed the country throughout Tuesday, flooding a major part of Colombo. Sri Lanka Red Cross said its employees have been placed on alert to assist anyone who may be affected by the bad weather.

Relief operations are continuing and the military has been deployed in several areas, according to news reports.

The armed forces have also been put on alert. As many as eight districts have been issued landslide warnings, PTI reported.

According to the weather department, Katunayake, just outside Colombo, recorded the highest rain fall of more than 260 millimeters over the past two days.

However, the situation seems to be getting better with rains easing on Wednesday.

"The low pressure area is moving away from Sri Lanka so the rainy conditions over the island will be reduced to some extent, but strong wind conditions will continue for a few more days," PTI reported, quoting Malinda Millagoda, a meteorologist.

Yesterday, three international flights were diverted to Kochi in India due to bad weather conditions prevailing in Sri Lanka, Airport officials said.

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