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Deadly Sri Lanka storms and landslides leave 1,000 people displaced

Lightning was said to have been behind three deaths as heavy rains struck the country.

Heavy rain and lightning strikes across Sri Lanka have left at least five people dead and displaced more than 1,000, officials said.

Pradeep Kodippili, a spokesman for the disaster management centre, said lightning killed three people and landslides killed two others in different parts of the island.

The centre said 1,024 people were moved to 20 safe locations.

Dark monsoon clouds hover over Colombo, Sri Lanka (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Hundreds of army troops were deployed to carry out relief work and rescue operations as heavy rains caused flash floods in many parts of the country.

The country has been experiencing heavy rains since Sunday, prompting the government to issue landslide warnings for five districts.

The meteorology department has warned of thundershowers with strong winds over the next 24 hours and asked people to take precautions against lightning strikes.

Sri Lanka has suffered frequent natural calamities in recent years. More than 200 people were killed in mudslides and floods during monsoon rains last May.

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