COLOMBO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday instructed authorities to provide immediate relief to the thousands of people who had been affected by heavy winds and rains within the past 36 hours in Sri Lanka.
A statement released by his office said that the president had issued instructions to allocate the necessary funds to supply food and other required facilities to those affected by the extreme weather.
The president further gave instructions to the minister of disaster management, defense secretary, tri forces' commanders and the inspector general of police to be vigilant about disaster situations that can occur in the future.
Sirisena also emphasized the need of implementing a comprehensive program to apprise the public regarding the natural disasters that could occur in any part of the country and also to establish a mechanism through which the public can inform their grievances.
Extreme weather which began in the island country on Saturday evening continued into Monday killing at least three people and affecting over 8,000 people.
A flood alert was issued in Sri Lanka on Monday as the water levels of two major rivers rose rapidly due to continuous heavy rains.
The Disaster Management Center said that authorities were on alert and were ready to face any emergency situation if the rivers over spilled.
Residents along the river banks have been evacuated and housed at temporary camps.
The Meteorology Department in a weather alert earlier on Monday said that heavy rains and strong winds would continue in many parts of the island country and people had been advised to remain cautious.
Several roads in the country have been cut off from minor floods and fallen trees and many schools around the country remained closed on Monday.
Armed forces are also on alert and have been conducting search and rescue operations since Sunday. Naval troops were seen patrolling along the rivers and canals, asking residents if any assistance was required.
At least eight districts in the country remained under a landslide warning and the public had been advised to avoid mountainous areas and roads.