Colombo, May 22: Death toll reached 82 on Sunday and 118 people are still missing in the deadly floods that hit Sri Lanka. The southern neighbour is triggered by the heaviest rains in over a century and had sought international aids including India for lakhs of displaced people.
The heavy rains wich have troubled Sri Lanka since last weekend has triggered huge landslides which have buried some victims 50 feets in the mud. Sri Lankan army and other rescuers pulled out 13 more bodies late last night in the worst-hit district of Kegalle.
“The death toll in the landslide has reached to 82 while 118 people are still missing. Around 3,40,000 people have been displaced across the country in the floods and landslides”, said Pradeep Kodippili, spokesman of the Disaster Management Centre. The death toll is likely to go up as rescue teams reach some of the worst-hit areas, authorities said.
21 of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts have been badly affected due to the floods and landslide. The military said the search for the missing persons is on in Aranayake where 43 bodies have been pulled out from the debris.
Meanwhile, floodwaters were receding in the capital Colombo and in the Western province’s Kelaniya and Kaduwela areas. International aid began arriving in Sri Lanka yesterday, bringing help to lakhs of people driven from their homes by heavy rains and deadly landslides. Various nations, including India, Pakistan, Australia and Japan are bringing in aid supplies such as blankets, water-purification tablets and drinking water.
An Indian Air Force plane and two naval ships carrying emergency supplies arrived in Colombo on Saturday. Sri Lanka’s military is airdropping food and water to affected areas as rescue operations continue, authorities said. The United Nations has pledged to support the Sri Lankan Government in its efforts to respond to the needs on the ground.