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Monsoon Rains Return to Sri Lanka, Leaving More Deaths and Destruction


A family stands near their flooded home in Batticaloa district, about 320 km (199 miles) east of Colombo, February 6, 2011.

A family stands near their flooded home in Batticaloa district, about 320 km (199 miles) east of Colombo, February 6, 2011.

Fresh monsoon rains in Sri Lanka have left more than a dozen people dead, forced another 250,000 from their homes and threatened to devastate the country's rice crop.

A Sri Lankan official, Agricultural Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene, told Reuters News Agency that some 90 percent of the rice paddies could be affected.

Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center says eastern, central and northern provinces have been hit hardest. Those areas had already been inundated by last month's monsoon rains.

The latest flooding comes after the U.N. issued an appeal for $51 million in emergency aid to help people affected by January's floods, which killed more than 40 Sri Lankans.

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