More than 150 people are feared dead after they were buried under two landslides in central Sri Lanka, disaster officials said on Wednesday.
Rescue workers recovered 19 bodies after the landslides caused by days of heavy rains, government officials said. About 350 people were plucked to safety during rescue operations in landslide-affected areas.
A Sri Lankan Red Cross official who attended a disaster meeting at the Aranayaka landslide site early on Wednesday said it was feared the death toll was much higher than the official figures listed so far.
“At that meeting, it was revealed that around 300-400 people are feared to have died in the Aranayaka landslide,” Neville Nanayakkara, director general of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, told Reuters news agency.
Nanayakkara was speaking before other officials said about 150 people had been rescued from the Aranayaka area, leaving fears for the safety of at least another 150 people.
More than 300 soldiers were deployed for the rescue mission.[Source: Al-Jazeera]