Colombo, May 18: The toll from a landslide in Sri Lanka’s Kegalle district has risen to 16 as rescue teams continued with search operations on Wednesday, the Disaster Magement Centre said. The landslide, which has buried three villages in Arayake, occurred on Tuesday. Strong winds and heavy rains continued for over 48 hours in Sri Lanka, Xinhua news agency reported. The military and rescue teams were at site continuing with search and rescue missions and officials said the toll was expected to rise further. At least 141 people were rescued from the rubble of landslide but the Sri Lanka Red Cross said over 200 families were still missing. Rescue efforts were hampered overnight due to extreme weather conditions.
The Disaster Magement Centre said six rows of houses were damaged, some of which were completely buried under the debris. At least 350,000 people have been affected by strong winds and heavy rains which began on Saturday, while 140,000 have been moved to temporary camps.
In the latest weather update, the meteorology department said the downpour would continue in several districts for 36 hours but the low pressure area has moved away from the island and rains over the island would gradually reduce in the next few days. (IANS)