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Deadly landslides in Sri Lanka claim scores of victims

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Deadly landslides in Sri Lanka claim scores of victims

  • 200 families feared buried in landslides
  • 230,000 people forced from homes
  • Rescue efforts hampered by powercuts

At least 200 families are feared buried beneath massive landslides in central Sri Lanka.

A search effort is focusing on the town of Aranayaka, which bis 100 km north east of the capital Colombo.

So far only 17 bodies have been recovered.

Three days of heavy rain have unleashed piles of mud and debris. Power cuts and blocked roads are hampering rescue operations.

More than 220,000 people have been forced from their homes – President Maithripala Sirisena visited survivors in a Buddhist temple being used as a temporary refuge.

Meanwhile, officials in other badly-hit parts of the island have appealed to the public to send water, dry food rations and sanitary items for those affected.

Flooding and drought are cyclical in Sri Lanka, which is battered by two monsoons each year.

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