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Sri Lankan troops have been placed on alert to assist in disaster relief as people living in coastal areas in north and northeastern parts of the island were warned to move inland as stormy weather hit the country. "Troops stand ready to assist disaster management officials if needed," Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, the military spokesman said. This was following warnings issued by the Department of Meteorology on an atmospheric depression forming about 250 km to the east of the eastern port of Trincomalee. As a result, showery and windy conditions are expected to continue over the eastern and northern parts of the country and over the eastern and northern sea areas. Sundaram Arumainayagam, the district secretary of Jaffna said people in the coastal areas had been moved elsewhere for safety. There will be showers or thundershowers at times in the northern, north-central and eastern provinces while fairly heavy rainfall (about 75mm) is also likely at some places, the MeT said. In coastal areas there will be showers or thundershowers at times off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Jaffna and Batticaloa, all in the north and north eastern regions.