KALUPAHANAWATTE, Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan military personnel were searching for missing people in a rural area about 80 kilometers northeast of the capital Colombo on Wednesday following a devastating landslide and heavy rains the previous day, an epa journalist reported.
About 90 soldiers searched through mud that had buried parts of the village of Kalupahanawatte, where two bodies were found this morning, among some 16 people who were reported missing.
The landslide destroyed several houses in the area, which is reportedly very poor, muddy and vulnerable to natural disasters, and which was difficult for rescue personnel to reach.
The conditions following the rains and landslide made it too difficult to bring in heavy machinery for the rescue, so soldiers have relied on simple tools for the search.
The disaster in this area reportedly affected about 60 people, with some of the survivors now sheltering at local Hindu temples, known as kovils.
There are fears that more landslides might affect the area this week.
The rains falling on the South Asian country this week have triggered floods, landslides and mudslides, resulting in the deaths of at least eight people, and displacing thousands, according to the government’s Disaster Management Center (DMC).