Monday, May 29, 2017

Mudslides in Sri Lanka have killed at least 169 and left 102 missing.

Global warming is causing more incidents of heavy precipitation.

Sri Lankan rescuers pulled out more bodies under enormous mudslides on Sunday as the death toll climbed to 169 with 102 others missing. Two days of torrential rains have caused massive flooding, and more rain is in the forecast Monday, threatening to cause more problems for over 100,000 displaced persons.

Authorities battling to rescue those still stranded have warned of the possibility of crocodile attacks as rising waters give the reptiles more and more territory, CNN reports.

"I have never seen such floods though I have spent my entire lifetime in Matara," Banakiyanage Gnanawathie, who lives in the badly hit town, told CNN by phone. "We have lost all our belongings and remain in the clothes we wore. I am still happy we escaped the floods and even the crocodiles."


Health minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathna said 102,218 displaced people were being sheltered in 339 relief centers. Special medical teams have been sent to the affected areas, while medicine has been sent by air to hospitals for which access has been cut off, he said.


There were still difficulties in reaching some areas to deliver emergency aid, so the air force has been lowering supplies from the air.


Muslim fishermen from the nearby coastal town of Beruwala came with their boats to help evacuate those stranded while observing the Ramadan fast.

Sri Lanka's government appealed to the United Nations as well as other countries for help with rescue and relief measures.

Mudslides have become common during the monsoon season in Sri Lanka, a tropical Indian Ocean island nation, as land has been heavily deforested to grow export crops such as tea and rubber.


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