Monsoon kills 54 in Sri Lanka

AFP-JIJI

The death toll in Sri Lanka from strong monsoon winds and heavy rains rose to 54, as the government announced new safety requirements for small fishing boats Tuesday.

The Disaster Management Center said 54 people, mostly fishermen caught in rough seas, had died since the monsoon hit Saturday. Another 17 people were listed as missing, while 33 were injured and hospitalized.

Minister for Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera said many of those killed in rough seas had been fishing in small boats without life jackets or radios when the monsoon struck.