Asia Sri Lanka Weather

Four killed, 23 missing as storm hits Sri Lanka

A major storm left four dead, two missing and more than a dozen injured across Sri Lanka, authorities said Thursday, as powerful winds toppled trees and damaged buildings.

Schools were closed Thursday across southern and central provinces and planes diverted as heavy rain battered the island.

Fallen trees killed three people late Wednesday and blocked roads and railway tracks, according to disaster management centre spokesman Pradeep Kodippily.

Two others were missing after their fishing boat capsized off the south coast, he said.

“Many houses have been partially damaged, mainly in the central hill districts, and power supplies have been hit,” Kodippily added.

At least 15 people have been treated for injuries in storm accidents, a spokesperson for the Colombo National Hospital said.

The national weather service predicted heavy rains and strong wind gusts of up to 70 kilometers (42 miles) an hour across Sri Lanka.

The rain and wind caused the diversion of at least two Colombo-bound flights from India to Mattala International Airport in the south, aviation officials said.

A newly formed depression and second brewing tropical threat will combine to threaten parts of India and Sri Lanka with flooding and mudslides into next week.

The seventh Bay of Bengal depression of the season developed near Sri Lanka on Wednesday and has produced rounds of heavy rainfall across the country and neighboring parts of southern India since early in the week.

A slow track to the west will take the depression south of India before it turns northward and moves off the coast of western India into early next week.

India 11/29

This track will result in daily downpours across Sri Lanka and southern India through at least Saturday.

The heaviest rain is expected across Sri Lanka and southern and central Tamil Nadu as well as southern Kerala in India.

This includes areas from Puducherry, Madurai and Kochi southward. Rainfall of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) will be common with local amounts reaching 200 mm (8 inches).

There will be a high risk for local flash flooding along with an elevated risk for mudslides.

Lighter rainfall will expand farther north and impact locations from Chennai to Benaluru, Coimbatore and Kozhikode.

These areas will get generally less than 50 mm (2 inches) of rainfall through Sunday.

While this first tropical threat sits over the Arabian Sea early next week, a new threat will approach Sri Lanka and eastern India.

Tropical development is possible as early as Thursday or Friday near the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal.

This potential cyclone will then have an opportunity to organize further and strengthen as it crosses the southern Bay of Bengal this weekend.

Eastern India will be at risk for impacts from the tropical cyclone as early as Monday night, with areas from Tamil Nadu to Andhra Pradesh at highest risk for flooding and damaging winds.

Depending on the exact track, flooding rainfall could extend inland across southern India or spread northward into Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Orissa later week.

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