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    Monday, May 29, 2017

    Sri Lanka monsoon toll climbs to 164

    Sri Lanka´s monsoon toll climbed to 164 with the discovery of more bodies of people buried in landslides triggered by intense rains, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said Monday.
    Friday´s deluge also caused the island´s worst flooding in 14 years and drove nearly half a million people out of their inundated homes in the southern and western regions.
    The DMC said 104 people were still listed as missing while another 88 remained in hospital.
    Police said an air force Mi-17 transport helicopter crashed in the southern Baddegama area Monday while transporting relief supplies to flood victims.
    "The helicopter crashed onto a house, but fortunately there were no casualties," a police official in the area told AFP by telephone.
    The air force has deployed a dozen aircraft for mercy missions to evacuate marooned villagers as well as carry food and other essentials to the affected areas.
    The government said relief operations had intensified over the weekend following a break in the monsoon rains.
    However, the meteorological department said it expected more rain on Monday and Tuesday that could hamper relief operations.
    Flood waters were receding in the worst affected districts of Ratnapura and Kalutara but the authorities said cleaning up operations could take weeks.
    Nearly 2,000 houses were damaged or destroyed.
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    Item Reviewed: Sri Lanka monsoon toll climbs to 164 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar