Death toll from Sri Lanka landslides rises to 27

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A landslide in Aranayake, Kegalle has buried three villages.  Photo: lankainformation.lk
A landslide in Aranayake, Kegalle has buried three villages. Photo: lankainformation.lk

The toll from a landslide in Sri Lanka’s Kegalle district has risen to 16 as rescue teams continued with search operations on 18 May. With this the death toll has been raised to 27, according to officials.

Confirming the death toll, Pradeep Kodippili, spokesperson, Disaster Management Centre, said the numbers of people caught in the mudslides was not available.

The 16 victims had lived in houses buried by mudslides that occurred on 17 May. The two villages hit are in Kegalle district, around 72 km from Colombo. Over 150 people are feared dead after being in central Sri Lanka.

More than 300 soldiers have saved 150 persons buried under landslides caused by three days of continuous rain in Aranayake village, which is 100 km from Colombo, and found 13 bodies.

In another village, Bulathkohupitiya, troops fund three bodies.

“At a disaster meeting, it was revealed around 300 people to 400 people were feared dead in the Aranayaka landslide,” Neville Nanayakkara, director general, Sri Lanka Red Cross Society told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological department forecast more rain even as soldiers are continuing the search and rescue operations.