Colombo – The rescue team has said on Thursday that heavy rain that led to serious flooding has distrupted the seach of missing persons after a two major landslides in central Sri Lanka.
The search for over than 100 persons that were missing has slim chances of success, as another flood has displaced more than 400,000 people continues to batter parts of the Island nation.
The Disaster Management Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that troops have been deployed to carry out the search operations.
The report said that military officers and rescue workers told reporters that the chances of finding more bodies were fading as more mud was piling up.
Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, who is in charge of the search operation, said the search for some 144 persons missing in Aranayake continued throughout the day without recovering any bodies.
“So far, only 18 bodies have been recovered from the site after Tuesday’s landslide, while more than 1,000 who escaped are living in camps for the displaced.
“In a second landslide in Bulathkohupitiya, also in central Sri Lanka, a similar search was continuing, with 10 bodies of a total 16 missing persons found so far,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, thousands remained trapped in their homes after water levels in the rivers were rising unexpectedly around the capital in the worst floods in 13 years.
The Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe appealed to the affected persons still at home to get out and assured them that the security forces and police will protect their belongings.
The official death toll has been put at 58, but unofficial figures are much higher.
The floods and landslides have also caused destruction to houses, powerlines, roads and bridges.
Sri Lanka Wednesday appealed to the international community for assistance to rebuild.
The meteorological department said the heavy rains were caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal. (dpa/NAN)