Over 250 still missing in Sri Lanka landslide



Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC) Wednesday said that over 250 people remain missing, hours after a massive landslide which buried over 150 houses in Haldammulla, located between Southern and Eastern Sri Lanka.

DMC spokesman Sarath Lal Kumara said that rescue operations were under way and a few bodies had also been recovered, Xinhua reported.

Officials said that 18 bodies had been recovered by noon Wednesday even as there was a warning of more landslides in the area.

Security Forces Headquarters (Central) Commander, Maj. Gen. Mano Perera said that the security forces were involved in a massive rescue operation.

Some houses were buried in over 30 feet of mud following heavy rain in the area the previous night.

"There were more than 150 families in that village. At least 500 men, women and children are believed to be trapped," an earlier report quoted a DMC official as saying.

Officials said it seemed unlikely they would find anyone alive given the scale of the disaster.

Air force spokesperson Gihan Seneviratne said a Bell 212 helicopter had been deployed for rescue work. - IANS