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More flee Sri Lanka floods

Many displaced by civil war are without homes again

More flee Sri Lanka floods
People try to escape the flooding in northern Sri Lanka reporter, Mannar
Sri Lanka

February 7, 2011

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More rain and mudslides in northern Sri Lanka have forced at least a further 250,000 from their homes or from resettlement villages set up at the end of the country's civil war. Over 1.2 million people have been displaced due to flooding and landslides over the past month with many being sheltered in over 700 camps. At least 13 people are reported to have been killed during the flooding. Sri Lanka’s armed forces are still mounting rescue operations or dropping supplies to stranded people. “It’s a very bad situation,” said Father Anthony Victor Sosai, Vicar general of Mannar diocese today. “People once displaced by war are again displaced and being forced to find shelter on high ground,” he told At least seven villages in the northwest, including the resettlement villages of Manthai, Nanattan, and Musali are under water, the priest said. Villagers in a number of villages in other areas have been forced to flee, he said. According to the vicar general, Caritas officials joined the effort to evacuate people to schools, churches and state buildings on higher ground. In some areas parish priests and lay centers were providing evacuees cooked meals and clothes, he said. Church centers in six dioceses are continuing relief efforts according to local parish priests. The holiest Catholic site in Sri Lanka, the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu is also being used to shelter the displaced. “In Marian shrine has become a shelter for hundreds of families.” Fr. Sosai said. “The area surrounding the shrine is under water,” he said adding that pilgrims should not attempt to travel to the shrine until the situation eased. Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar has visited the affected areas and allocated one million rupees (US$ 10,000) for relief works.   Related reports Catholics, UN appeal for aid to flood victims Caritas volunteers assist flood victims Sri Lankans suffer from rains, flooding Caritas builds jungle homes for displaced Hindus Priest helps farmers battle floods SR13181.1640
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