Sri Lanka landslide death toll rises to 29, unknown number still missing | Reuters

By Shihar Aneez | COLOMBO COLOMBO Rescue workers cleared mud and debris from a landslide at a giant rubbish dump in the Sri Lankan capital for a fourth day on Monday, as the death toll rose to 29 and uncertainty remained over the number of people missing.The 300-foot-high (90-metre) dump in the Meethotamulla area on the border of the commercial heart of Colombo collapsed after flames engulfed it late on Friday, the country's official New Year's day, burying many homes.

Reuters April 17, 2017 23:32:18 IST
Sri Lanka landslide death toll rises to 29, unknown number still missing
| Reuters

Sri Lanka landslide death toll rises to 29 unknown number still missing
 Reuters

By Shihar Aneez
| COLOMBO

COLOMBO Rescue workers cleared mud and debris from a landslide at a giant rubbish dump in the Sri Lankan capital for a fourth day on Monday, as the death toll rose to 29 and uncertainty remained over the number of people missing.The 300-foot-high (90-metre) dump in the Meethotamulla area on the border of the commercial heart of Colombo collapsed after flames engulfed it late on Friday, the country's official New Year's day, burying many homes. (tmsnrt.rs/2plsR6G)Military spokesman Roshan Senivirathna said that rescue workers will have to dig deeper to recover the dead but that they have no idea how many people may still be missing."The hill came down in quite a strong manner where in some areas we had to dig up to 20 feet, and in some areas it might be little further. Depending on the information we get from the people.. we can continue our process," he told Reuters.Residents still say around 100 people may be missing, but the state-run Disaster Management Centre (DMC) revised down its own figure for the missing to 11 from an initial 30.

Both the military spokesman and a DMC official said the death toll had reached 29.Pradeep Kodippili, a spokesman for the DMC, said the number of missing was revised down after going through information on the area residents from government offices."Some of the dead people's names were in the missing list and we removed those names," Kodippili told Reuters.

The authorities have ordered a stop to garbage dumping at the nearest site, the largest in the country, where 800 tons of waste is dumped on a daily basis, mainly from Colombo city.The finance ministry is considering compensation for the victim's families and for those whose houses were damaged in the landslide.

The rescue team of more than 1,000 military personnel halted the search late on Monday and expected to resume on Tuesday.Already officials have said survival was "very unlikely".The police are investigating whether the landslide was natural or man-made.Residents of the area, mostly living in shanties, had been demanding the removal of the dump, saying it was causing health problems. The government had said it would remove it as part of an infrastructure plan. (Editing by Hugh Lawson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment
World

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment

By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied