May 18, Colombo: More than 200 families are missing after a massive landslide buried hundreds of houses three villages in Aranayake in Kegalle district, the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) said.
Rescue efforts by Sri Lanka Army troops and the Red Cross teams have recovered 13 bodies so far after the landslide brought on by the incessant rains buried the Siripura, Pallebage, and Elagipitya villages late Tuesday evening.
The Red Cross said so far 180 people have been rescued and they are provided with cooked food and first aid and sheltered in a nearby Temple.
Sri Lanka Army deployed rescue and recovery teams of over 280 troops with sniffer dogs and heavy machinery to the site immediately after the disaster for immediate search, rescue and relief operations which remained hampered for some time due to swelling waters and torrential rains.
The Army said the operations, commenced during the wee hours on Wednesday (18), are continuing with the support of villagers, other volunteer teams and hospital staff who have by now brought more than six ambulances to the affected area for evacuation of the wounded to hospitals.
According to the Kegalle District Secretary around 100 houses have been damaged in the landslide.
Meanwhile, another landslide was reported from Kalupahanawatte, Bulathkohupitiya where 6 line houses in a 12 house row had been completely destroyed in a landslide that took place early Wednesday morning. The Army has estimated that 16 people have gone missing.