Mudslides in Sri Lanka kill 91, 110 go missing

Mudslides and floods triggered by heavy rains in Sri Lanka killed more than a dozen people with four others missing, Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardana said Friday.

Authorities have launched rescue and relief operations to shift people to safer places.

At least 103 people have been killed and almost 500,000 displaced in Sri Lanka following flooding and mudslides triggered by monsoon rains, the government says.

The wettest time of the year in Sri Lanka's south is usually from May to September.

Although the weather has cleared, more rains are forecast for Monday, threatening to bring further misery to more than 100,000 people displaced in western and southern regions of the island nation that were lashed by two days of torrential rains.

The second ship INS Jalashwan will carry Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief stores with them.

With homes and roads inundated, many people stood on roofs and treetops desperately calling for help, Deputy Minister for Disaster Management Dunesh Kankanda said, according to AP.

Rescue and search operations are still ongoing in several areas and fresh flood alerts have been issued as rains continue in certain areas.

A Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) airman died during a flood rescue operation after he fell off a helicopter in Neluwa, Galle.

The Disaster Management Center said Friday that tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the rain that started early Friday.

Indian PM Narendra Modi has condoled the loss of lives and property in Sri Lanka due to flooding and landslides, stated a press release.

India has already sent three of its navy ships, carrying supplies and other aid, the first of which arrived in the capital Colombo on Saturday night. Jayasekera said it is expected to intensify again on May 30.

Authorities said five rivers burst their banks as a result of a powerful monsoon.

During monsoon season, landslides are common in the tropical Indian Ocean island as its land has been heavily deforested. In May past year, over 100 people lost their lives due to a massive landslide in the central regions of the country.

  • Leroy Wright