Nov 15, Colombo: The bodies of the four members of the same family who went missing in the landslide that occurred on the 12th evening in Gawaranhena and Horankandura villages in Balangoda, were found yesterday (14th) evening.
After being buried in the same place, the bodies were recovered yesterday during excavations with great effort. Some toys and furniture and a mobile phone were found near the bodies.
After the family relatives identified the bodies, they were taken to the Balangoda Base Hospital for post-mortem examination as per the instructions of Balangoda Police Station Officer-In-Charge Chief Inspector Damith Jayakody.
The excavation teams first spotted a leg of a missing child who was buried under a large boulder that has been swept away by the landslide. Excavations around the site led to the recovery of all the family members.
The father, mother and two daughters of the same family have died in this landslide, and the house has been completely buried under the soil.
The deceased have been identified as father Chaminda Sumith Kumara (44) mother S. Sriyawathi (40), daughters Thamodi (16) and Vimalsa (10).
The staff of the Ratnapura Disaster Management Center and the National Building Research Organization, members of the Sri Lanka Army, Balangoda Police officers and local residents jointly carried out operations to find the bodies of the missing people.
Meanwhile, another part of Bambaragala Mountain was hit by a landslide yesterday (13th) night prompting the evacuation of 25 members of six families residing in five houses near the place where the landslide occurred in the Vahinthanna area of Gawaranhena Grama Seva Domain and temporarily relocating in relatives’ houses, Balangoda Divisional Secretary Mr. Hemantha Bandara said yesterday (14).
He also said that there are several school children among the families temporarily moved to relatives’ houses.
The Balangoda Divisional Secretary also stated that the Bambaragala Mountain in Hangarangala has collapsed into two parts. One part has slid about 4 km into the area where houses and tea plantations were. The other part has slid about 2 km towards Bambaragala forest
Mr. Bandara said that a team of officials including Mr. Nimal Mathiage, the Disaster Relief Service Officer of the Balangoda Divisional Secretariat, will distribute the dry food needed by the affected people.
He revealed that the area affected by the landslide was inspected by the officials of the National Building Research Organization, and if the report named it as a high risk area of landslide and made a recommendation, these residents will be given land in safe areas and resettled.
Mr. Bandara also said that people are informed not to visit this place as there is a risk of further landslides and rockfalls due to heavy rain these days.
A team of officials from the NBRO is investigating the landslide risk of the area using drone cameras.