Three killed, over 150 missing in Sri Lanka landslide

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 29, 2014 3:09 AM

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Three people were killed and more than 150 were missing on Wednesday as a landslide following heavy rains buried more than 70 houses in south-central Sri Lanka, an official said.

Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said at least 3 km (2 miles) of land was affected by the landslide in the village of Haldummulla, 192 km (120 miles) from the capital Colombo.

"So far, three dead bodies have been recovered and more than 150 people are missing," Amaraweera told a private television channel. "Seven lines of houses, which has about 70 houses, 10 shops and three official residences, are hit by the landslide."

He said villagers had been advised to move away from the area because of the threat of a landslide, but many did not heed the warning.

"I was under the rubble and some people took me out... my mother and aunt have died," a woman who was being treated for injuries told local media from the disaster site, where a rescue operation was under way.

"We saw smoke around the area. Some people shouted and asked us to run away, so we ran," another survivor said.

(Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by John Chalmers and Ryan Woo)