Sri Lanka & India: Cyclone Laila Displaces over 100,000

Image courtesy of India Meteorological Department

Eighty lakhs of rupees have been released by the Sri Lankan President for the provision of flood relief in Gampaha, Kalutara, Colombo, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle and Matara districts as Cyclone Laila passes through the Bay of Bengal. Pre-monsoon rain has affected more than 100,000 people in Sri Lanka and India.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was attending the G-15 summit in Tehran, Iran, when the torrential rains hit the nation, just off the South-West coast of India and acted to release funds for district authorities to assist people caught in the rising waters.

Heavy rain is also expected in Tamil Nadu, gale force winds will hit Andhra coast and fishermen are being advised not to enter the high seas.

As of 1200 UTC on 18th May 2010 Cyclone Laila lay near latitude 13.00N and longitude 83.50E, about about 350km East of Chennai, 520km South of Visakhapatnam and 1200km South-Southwest of Kolkata with a wind speed of 45 knots and high seas. The system is expected to intensify and move in a West-Northwesterly direction, then Northwesterly to Northerly direction, crossing the Andhra Pradesh coast between Ongole and Visakhapatnam by the early hours of May 20th 2010.

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