Sri Lanka braces for more flooding

Sri Lanka braces for more flooding

Sri Lanka braces for more flooding

Updated 24 December 2012, 21:25 AEDT

At least 42 people have been killed and nine are reported missing after more than a week of heavy rains continuing to hit various parts of Sri Lanka.

At least 42 people have been killed and nine are reported missing after more than a week of heavy rains continuing to hit various parts of Sri Lanka.

The Disaster Management Centre says flooding in central, north central and eastern Sri Lanka has displaced thousands, and more than 17,000 people have been housed in 100 relief camps.

The Meteorological department forecasts heavy rains to continue for another week,

Around half of the country's 71 main reservoirs are overflowing and their sluice gates had to be opened, making the flood situation even worse.

The floods have inundated a number of large towns and rural areas, forcing hospitals to evacuate patients and roads to close after landslides.

The floods are some of the worst that Sri Lanka has seen since early 2011, when unusually heavy monsoon rains left at least 64 people dead and drove more than one million people out of their homes.

Deputy Director General of the Sri Lankan Red Cross, Sudath Madugalle, told Radio Australia more than 3000 houses were "fully damaged" and 7500 houses were "partly damaged".

Mr Madugalle said with many of the displaced being housed in temporary accommodation, the Ministry of Disaster Management and the Sri Lankan Red Cross were supporting those affected with food, water, mats, bedsheets, clothing and lanterns.

Mr Madugalle said any possible rise in the death toll will depend on weather conditions.

He said "thousands of acres" of farming land will be affected.

"After this flood there should be some support for these farmers, for their livelihood," he said.

Reuters/ABC