India’s High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha and Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha de Silva on board INS Sunanya at Colombo Port on Saturday afternoon at an even to mark the handing over of relief materials from India to Sri Lanka.
United States, Red Cross of China also chip in.
India and Japan on Saturday handed over relief materials to Sri Lanka, which is inching back to normality after experiencing floods in Colombo and suburbs and a major landslip in Kegalle district.
As per a report of the Disaster Management Centre in the evening, the death toll rose to 73. Four more bodies were recovered from Aranayaka, where the landslip took place. The figure of missing persons was put at 127. With the improvement in the overall situation, the number of affected people went down to 3.46 lakh on Saturday evening from 4.27 lakh on Friday afternoon.
Indian envoy hands relief personally
At the Colombo Port and the Kattunayake airport, India’s High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha formally handed over the materials, weighing over 80 tonnes, to Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management.
The materials, which included 700 tents, 1000 tarpaulin sheets, 10 electric generators, 100 emergency lamps and medication against epidemics for 10,000 people, were transported through two Indian Navy ships (INS Sutlej and INS Sunayna) and C-17 aircraft.
Japan too answers with urgency
At another event at the Ministry of Disaster Management, Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan, presented the materials worth about Rs. 32 million to Mr. Yapa. The materials were flown in urgently from the warehouse of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Singapore.
Two JICA experts on disaster management would visit Colombo shortly to hold discussion with the Sri Lankan authorities. The government of Japan would continue to provide assistance in the field of disaster risk reduction including meteorological observation and landslip mitigation, a release issued by the Embassy of Japan said.
The United States government has provided $ 50,000 towards non-food items. Also, the US Embassy in Colombo, in coordination with the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, is working on plans to support a three-year programme of $1 million designed to provide safe, disaster-resilient, drinking water to people who are highly vulnerable to floods and droughts, a release said.
The Red Cross Society of China has donated $50,000 to the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society in support of relief and rebuilding efforts.