Sri Lanka closes schools as floods and mudslides leave 10 dead and 6 others missing


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka closed schools on Monday as heavy rain triggered floods and mudslides in many parts of the island nation, leaving at least 10 people dead and six others missing, officials said.

The education ministry announced that the reopening of schools would depend on how the weather develops.

Heavy downpours have wreaked havoc in many parts of the country since Sunday, flooding homes, fields and roads, and forcing authorities to cut electricity as a precaution.

Six people died after being washed away and drowning in the capital, Colombo, and the remote Rathnapura district on Sunday, according to the disaster management center. Three others died when mounds of earth collapsed on their houses, and one person died when a tree fell on him. Six people have gone missing since Sunday.

By Monday, over 5,000 people had been moved to evacuation centers and more than 400 homes had been damaged, the center said in a statement.

Navy and army troops have been deployed to rescue victims and provide food and other essentials to those affected.

Sri Lanka has been grappling with severe weather conditions since mid-May caused by heavy monsoon rains. Earlier, strong winds downed trees in many areas, killing nine people.