News In Brief

700,000 Sri Lankans homeless in floods

Floods have made more than 700,000 people homeless in Sri Lanka, a government minister said Tuesday. Social Services Minister Asoka Karunaratne said heavy rain during the last several days had burst hundreds of irrigation reservoirs, damaged 40,000 houses, and disrupted road and rail transport in the north and east of the Indian Ocean island. ''The situation has now eased and the waters are subsiding,'' he added.

He said the government was spending $2.6 million on food for flood victims. It was also appealing to other countries and to international organizations for aid.

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