Days of torrential rains in Sri Lanka has forced over 375,000 from their homes and stranded thousands in the worst flooding to hit the island nation in decades.

The government estimates 200,000 of the displaced are from the capital of Colombo alone, where on Saturday, 21 May, the country's military continued efforts to reach survivors clinging to rare dry patches and the upper floors of their homes.

Small rescue boats could be seen in the city cruising flooded streets, rescuing hundreds from neighbourhoods where cars once drove.

At least 71 have died from the flooding and two accompanying landslides, believed to be the worst to hit the country in 25 years. Officials say 127 are still missing in the landslides, which left feet of mud in their wake.

Media organisations and civil groups have launched public appeals for food, water, and clothing.