Apr 17, Colombo: Hundreds of Sri Lanka Army troops together with Navy, Air Force, Police, STF and Disaster Management Centre personnel are continuing rescue and relief operations in full swing at Meethotamulla where a 300-foot garbage mountain collapsed burying dozens of people and homes on Friday.
According to the Army, a total of 26 dead bodies have been recovered as the dusk fell on Sunday (16).
A high level meeting summoned Sunday evening at the Disaster Management Centre by President Maithripala Sirisena instructed all authorities, including the Army to take immediate steps to provide all affected residents with alternative housing arrangements until permanent houses are built elsewhere.
The Army media unit said Security Forces, Police and STF personnel cordoned off the area preventing crowds from thronging to the area to get glimpse of the disaster.
It said the troops are busy round the clock removing debris, rescuing those trapped and buried alive and also recovering dead bodies as victims' families guided the troops to specific locations where their houses stood before the tragedy struck.
The Army said heavy machinery, tractors and vehicles of the Army and sister services continue to remove heaps of garbage from affected areas and assist the crowds with sanitary and immediate health facilities.
A large stock of meal packets for breakfast, lunch and dinner are continuously supplied to the affected families by the Army in close coordination with Divisional Secretariats in the area.