Rescue workers continue search for buried bodies in Sri Lanka floods

2016-05-18 12:14
An elderly Sri Lankan woman and a girl are shifted on a mattress at a flooded area in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Eranga Jayawardena, AP)

An elderly Sri Lankan woman and a girl are shifted on a mattress at a flooded area in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Eranga Jayawardena, AP)

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Colombo – Rescue workers recovered 16 bodies buried in mudslides caused by heavy rains in central Sri Lanka, raising the death toll due to bad weather to 27, government officials said on Wednesday. Rescue work was continuing as more rain was forecast.

Military spokesperson Brig Jayanath Jayaweera said the 16 victims had lived in houses buried by the mudslides that occurred on Tuesday evening. The two villages affected are in the Kegalle district, about 72km from the capital, Colombo.

More than 300 soldiers were deployed for the rescue mission and they rescued 150 people trapped in Aranayake village and recovered 13 bodies from the area, Jayaweera said.

In the other village, known as Bulathkohupitiya, troops recovered three bodies, he said, adding that troops are continuing the search and rescue operations.

Pradeep Kodippili, the spokesperson of the government's Disaster Management Centre, confirmed the death toll and said the numbers of people and houses caught in the mudslides were not available.

The centre had reported 11 deaths as of Tuesday due to landslides and electrocution.

The Meteorological Department has forecast more rain and rough seas for much of the island nation.


Rescue workers on Wednesday recovered the bodies of 17 villagers buried in landslides in Sri Lanka after three days of torrential rain.

Disaster Management Centre spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said 17 people have died in the landslides, with the discovery of one more body in the debris, while other weather-related incidents in recent days had claimed 19 lives, taking the overall death toll to 36.

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  natural disasters

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