COLOMBO (AA) – More than 200 families are missing after massive mudslides buried three villages in central Sri Lanka.
“Around 220 families are feared buried under mudslides and debris,” the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society said in a statement.
The mudslides ravaged the three villages, about 72 kilometers (45 miles) from the capital Colombo on Tuesday, after three days of torrential rains.
Army spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said 27 people were killed by the rains and mudslides. He said 300 soldiers have been deployed to search for survivors.
“Heavy fog, rains and electricity outages were hampering rescue efforts,” he said.
Sri Lankan officials said more than 130,000 people have been forced to flee their homes after days of heavy rain triggered flash floods and landslides.
Flooding and drought occur regularly in Sri Lanka, which is battered by a monsoon between May and September, and December to February.