Floods and mudslides have killed at least 16 people and displaced some 5,000 others, with the worst affected areas in and around the island’s tea-growing Central Highlands.

Most deaths have occurred due to drowning and lightning strikes. At least one person is reported missing.
Most deaths have occurred due to drowning and lightning strikes. At least one person is reported missing. (AFP)

At least 16 people have died in floods and mudslides in Sri Lanka following more than a week of heavy rain.

The disaster management center on Wednesday said more than 5,000 people have been displaced from their homes and have taken shelter in relatives’ homes or government-run relief centers. 

Most deaths have occurred due to drowning and lightning strikes. 

At least one person is reported missing. 

Months of October and November are usually the northeastern monsoon season in Sri Lanka. 

However, higher than usual rainfalls have been reported in most parts of the country this year.

READ MORE: Heavy rain, floods kill dozens in Sri Lanka

The natural disaster comes as Sri Lanka is hoping to ease restrictions to tackle the novel coronavirus. 

A month-long lockdown to fight a third wave of infections is due to end on June 14.

Sri Lanka's tourism sector has been badly hit by the pandemic.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies