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73 dead, scores missing after Sri Lanka landslides

Published 21/05/2016

Sri Lankan flood victims ask for bottles of drinking water in the flooded area of Wellampitiya on the outskirts of Colombo (AP)
Sri Lankan flood victims ask for bottles of drinking water in the flooded area of Wellampitiya on the outskirts of Colombo (AP)

Sri Lanka's government has raised the death toll from landslides and heavy flooding to 73, as soldiers continue searching for scores of people missing since deadly landslides struck several days ago.

In the capital Colombo and its suburbs, thousands of homes remain inundated, though there are signs that the waters are receding.

About 243,000 people are currently in temporary shelters nationwide.

Soldiers are searching for bodies in the thick mud deposits in the central district of Kegalle, where landslides swallowed up three villages on Tuesday.

Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, who is coordinating the search, said one body and parts of another were found on Saturday.

Twenty-one people have been confirmed dead from the landslides in the three villages and 123 others are missing.

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From Belfast Telegraph