Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

91 killed, 110 missing in Sri Lankan floods, mudslides

President Maithripala Sirisena, who returned from a state visit to Australia, travelled to Kalutara, one of the worst affected districts south of Colombo, to supervise relief operations.

Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu said a second larger vessel was expected in Colombo on Monday with more aid.

A Naval spokesman said INS Shardul has been dispatched from Southern Naval Command here to render humanitarian assistance.

The ship is carrying additional relief material requested by Sri Lankan authorities, apart from more inflatable boats.

At least 100 people have died in Sri Lanka due to floods and landslides in the country's south and western regions.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will keep monitoring the situation and will seek assistance as required", said Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana.

Maj Gen Sudantha Ranasinghe, who was leading the search and rescue mission, doubted that any survivors would be found. Earth and rocks had crashed down in such a way that survival was unlikely and most of the affected places were still flooded, making access hard.

As before India has been the first to respond when Sri Lanka is ravaged by national disasters.

Five rivers burst their banks as a result of a powerful monsoon.

Several thousand people have been evacuated from the affected area. Further, 12,007 people belonging to 2,937 families were relocated to 69 safe locations as of Saturday morning, it said. Another 110 people remain missing. Navy boats and air force helicopters were deployed to rescue marooned victims and provide emergency relief.

"The number of deaths in Ratnapura district is recorded as 10 and it's nine in Kalutara due to floods and landslides", the DMC said earlier in a report.

"The monsoon has firmly established and we could have evening showers at a lesser intensity", metrological department chief SR Jayasekera said.

Sri Lankan rescuers have pulled out more bodies that were buried by enormous mudslides as the death toll in the disaster climbed to 151, with 111 others missing.

That disaster killed more than 100 people and completely destroyed more than 500 houses, AFP reported.

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