Death toll from Sri Lanka’s floods, landslides rises

lanslideAround 150 people are feared dead after more than three days of heavy rain triggered two landslides in central Sri Lanka, disaster officials said yesterday as rescuers stopped work after recovering more than a dozen bodies.

Rescue efforts have focused on the town of Aranayaka, where three villages were buried late on Tuesday in the central district of Kegalle. Two hundred families are missing and feared buried under the mud and debris, the Sri Lankan Red Cross said.

Heavy rainfall triggered the two massive landslides, leaving at least 37 dead and more than 200 families missing. The Sri Lankan Red Cross and the Disaster Management Center say around 350,000 people in the country have been affected. Soldiers and rescue worker are conducting evacuation operations. Sixteen bodies have been recovered and 180 people have been rescued from the enormous piles of mud, which slid at on Tuesday, 18 May.

Heavy fog and continuing rain, along with electricity outages and the instability of the ground, are complicating the rescue.

Rupavahini, showed images of huge mounds of earth covering houses, while torrents of muddy water gushed from hilltops above. Villagers said 66 houses had been buried or damaged. One thousand one hundred and forty people who escaped are sheltering, and being treated for minor injuries, at a nearby school and at a Buddhist temple.

Rain has also caused severe flooding in cities, including Colombo.Troops using boats and helicopters also pulled to safety more than 200 people trapped in the northwestern coastal district of Puttalam

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