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Threat of water-borne diseases loom as flood toll touches 40

Colombo: The threat of water-borne diseases loomed for the thousands of people housed in temporary relief camps, even as the water levels receded from the devastating flooding in Sri Lanka that has killed at least 40 people in last several days.

The total number of people killed rose to 40 while 4 others were still unaccounted for, according to the Sri Lanka`s Disaster Management Centre.

Health authorities cautioned the public on water borne diseases in flood-hit areas.

Thousands of people have begun returning home after flood waters receded while more than 50,000 people still remain at 137 camps, the DRC said today in its daily situation update.

More than 27,000 houses were damaged or partially damaged during the flood, forcing the victims to stay in camps, officials said.

Amid warnings of water borne diseases in the flood-hit areas, health ministry officials said so far there was no reported cases of spread of such disease.

Meanwhile at least three government officials were assaulted when a group of flood victims stormed a divisional secretariat building in the eastern part of the country, including the Batticaloa district, alleging misappropriation of flood relief supplies.

Once the battle field of the Sri Lankan war, the eastern province was the worst affected during the floods that affected more than a million people.

A large number of those displaced were those who had only recently been resettled after decades of ethnic conflict between Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces.

Sri Lankan officials earlier said the damage caused to the infrastructure and facilities was only second to the tsunami catastrophe in 2004 which claimed more than 30,000 lives.

India responded quickly to Sri Lanka`s call for assistance by sending a consignment of relief supply by an special air craft.

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