Floods, landslides kill almost 100 in Sri Lanka

2017-05-26 18:26
Sri Lankan landslide survivors watch military rescue efforts at Bellana village. (Eranga Jayawardena, AP)

Sri Lankan landslide survivors watch military rescue efforts at Bellana village. (Eranga Jayawardena, AP)

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Colombo - Flooding and landslides killed at least 91 people and left another 110 missing in Sri Lanka as the monsoon set in on Friday, dumping record rainfalls in many parts of the island, authorities said.

About 20 000 people were also driven out of their homes in the south and western parts of the country, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.

"There are some areas where we are unable to reach, but relief operations are under way," deputy minister for disaster management Dunesh Gankanda told reporters in Colombo.

The DMC said the toll rose to 91 dead and another 110 missing as reports came in from areas which had been inaccessible earlier in the day.

The highest number of fatalities were from Ratnapura, the country's gem hub, where the Kalu River burst its banks and inundated the main town which is about 100km east of Colombo.

Nearly 500 homes were either damaged or destroyed due to flooding as well as landslides, DMC director of operations, Rear Admiral AAP Liyanage told AFP.

Most of the deaths were due to mountain sides collapsing on homes, he said.

The met department said the worst of the rains may be over, but there could be downstream flooding in the next few days and the authorities issued evacuation orders for thousands of people.

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  weather

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