Sri Lanka finds more bodies as mudslide deaths reach 151

Sri Lankan men push their vehicles across a road against the inundated water caused by floods at Kaduwela, 20kms away from capital city Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Flooding and mudslides triggered by monsoon rains have left at least 91 people dead and more than 100 missing in Sri Lanka, officials say, according to BBC News.

The meteorology department has forecast more rain in the coming days.

An Indian naval ship equipped with medical supplies docked in Colombo Saturday and a second vessel was expected on Monday, Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu said.

The woman went into labour minutes after being airlifted to safety from Ratnapura district, which is one of the worst flood-hit areas in the country.

It has almost 200 personnel on board, including specialised rescue, diving and medical teams, as well as a large amount of relief material and Gemini inflatable boats.

"I have lived in this area for 27 years and we have gone through floods, but never experienced this much water", the 62-year told AFP in Kalutara district on the southwest coast as a navy boat carried him to safety.

INS "Kirch" was carrying 125 personnel. The first Indian ship reached here yesterday.

Soldiers cleared road access to most of the affected areas while others were reachable by boat, said Maj.

He also ordered authorities to provide immediate relief to the people.

"We have a problem of limited resources to cope with the situation", Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

He said that his house is now submerged under eight feet of water.

"In landslides, it's hard to find survivors after two days, and today is the second day", Ranasinghe said.

Due to torrential rains of two days, over 100,000 have been displaced in the country's western and southern regions.

But the government's relief programme, which was stepped up during a break in heavy rains over the weekend, could be put back by more downfalls on Monday and Tuesday. There were no casualties and Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena telephoned Squadron Leader Bhanuka Delgoda, the pilot of the MI-17, to congratulate him for his bravery.

Stonemason Kirindagamage Pathmasiri, another Matara resident, said that the police had urged people to evacuate, but he and his family stayed put as they had nowhere to evacuate to.

An investigation is under way after an air force transport helicopter crashed during an operation to distribute food to marooned villages in the southern town of Baddegama.

  • Leroy Wright