After a series of bomb blast rocked the capital city of Sri Lanka on Easter morning, the United Kingdom’s foreign and commonwealth office (FCO) has issued a travel advice on Sri Lanka. The advisory comes after around six explosions across multiple locations, including luxury hotels and churches, were reported on the early hours of Sunday in Colombo and other parts of the country. According to local reports, around 100 have been killed and 300 have been injured and taken to hospital.
"There have been a number of explosions in Sri Lanka, including Colombo, on Sunday 21 April. Please follow the instructions of local security officials and follow travel advice for updates," the FCO said in its advisory to people travelling from Sri Lanka.
In the wake of the blasts, the High Commission of India in Colombo has also put out official telephone numbers for Indians seeking assistance in Sri Lanka.
In addition to the numbers given below, Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may also call the following numbers +94777902082 +94772234176— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 21, 2019
Explosions have been reported in Colombo and Batticaloa today. We are closely monitoring the situation. Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may call the following numbers : +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 21, 2019
Indian External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has also assured the Indians in the country of help and tweeted that she is in constant touch with the Indian High commission in the country.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for an emergency meeting and officials have assured that rescue operations are underway and has advised people to stay calm and indoors.
Of the six explosions reported today morning, one was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in Colombo. The second explosion was reported at a church in Katuwapitiya in Negombo. The two explosions reportedly took place at the same time, around 8:45 am local time, according to local reports.
A third explosion was later reported at a church in Batticaloa, a major city in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. There were blasts at three five star hotels, the Shangri-La Hotel, the Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Hotel, located in Colombo.