Floods and Mudslides in Sri Lanka Kill Over 100

Reportedly, 122 people have been killed in floods and mudslides in Sri Lanka after the worst torrential rains hit the tropical island nation since 2003. The state-run disaster management center said nearly 100 people were still missing. The early rainy-season downpours forced many families from their homes, displacing over 270,000 people across the country.
Sri Lankan military and rescue teams used boats and helicopters, but officials said access to some areas was very difficult. Deaths were reported from the western coastal district of Kalutara, the central southern district of Ratnapura and the southern district of Matara. A police spokesman, Priyantha Jayakody, said multiple landslides were reported in those regions.

Sri Lanka’s military said that it was doubtful any missing people would be found alive two days after torrents of mud loosened by heavy rain covered homes in the southern and western parts of the country. Nonetheless, the army, navy and air force were continuing to try to reach marooned villagers and evacuate those living in areas prone to mudslides, he said. Villagers watched as rescue teams searched for people trapped by the mud.

The Indian Ocean nation has appealed for international assistance. The Foreign Ministry said that in coordination with the Disaster Management Ministry, a request had been made to the United Nations and neighboring countries to provide help.