Apr 17, Colombo: Operations to search for those missing in the Meethotamulla landfill collapse and relief efforts are continuing as the death toll from the Friday's disaster has risen to 30. Around 1,600 security forces personnel are deployed in search operations.
Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake visited the Meethotamulla area today to inspect the situation and give necessary advice. The Minister also presided a meeting with the security forces at the Meethotamulla Sri Rahula Vidyalaya to review the progress of the recue and relief efforts.
It was revealed at the meeting that 6 -10 people are still to be found. The IGP, Army Commander, Division Secretary, Grama Niladharis, and other officials also took part in the meeting.
The Minister said it was discussed how far to continue the search. While media report that hundreds are missing, the officials conducting the search must have a proper target, the Minister said. According to information received so far six people are missing, he said.
The Minister requested the people to provide correct information on the missing and losses so that the government can properly direct relief and rescue operations.
Meanwhile Minister of Disaster management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told a media briefing that the government will take steps to provide housing to the people who have lost their homes. He stressed that the government is committed to the welfare of the victims.
He said the National Building Research Organization took steps yesterday to look into the possibility if the garbage dump would collapse again. He said the authorities are in the process of identifying places that could be prone to another slide. He said the areas had been marked and the government is compelled to temporarily evacuate people living in these areas.
The Minister said the District Secretary and the Colombo Municipal Council are taking census of the people who lost their homes. The officials have been instructed to provide reports on the estimates in five days.