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Powerful storm kills at least three in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Nov 30, 2017 (BSS/AFP) - A major storm left three dead, two missing and more than a dozen injured across Sri Lanka, authorities said Thursday, as powerful winds toppled trees and damaged buildings.

Schools were closed Thursday across southern and central provinces and planes diverted as heavy rain battered the island.

Fallen trees killed three people late Wednesday and blocked roads and railway tracks, according to disaster management centre spokesman Pradeep Kodippily.

Two others were missing after their fishing boat capsized off the south coast, he said.

"Many houses have been partially damaged, mainly in the central hill districts, and power supplies have been hit," Kodippily added.

At least 15 people have been treated for injuries in storm accidents, a spokesperson for the Colombo National Hospital said.

The national weather service predicted heavy rains and strong wind gusts of up to 70 kilometers (42 miles) an hour across Sri Lanka.

The rain and wind caused the diversion of at least two Colombo-bound flights from India to Mattala International Airport in the south, aviation officials said.