More than 300 people are missing after days of heavy monsoon rain caused a landslide that buried 150 houses in south-central Sri Lanka village of Haldummulla on Wednesday morning, October 29, 2014. The houses affected were in an area of hilly ridges particularly vulnerable to landslides. 820 people have been displaced.
"More than 100 people are believed to have died," Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said adding the landslide was at least 3 km (2 miles) long.
"There is also a threat of further landslides," he said.
There have been a number of landslides since the start of heavy rains in mid-September resulting in damage to roads, but there had been no casualties until yesterday.
R. M. S. Bandara, an official with the landslide research division of the National Building Research Organization (Ministry of Disaster Management) said a bulletin issued on Tuesday, October 28 around 7 p.m. warned that a landslide was possible in the area.
The protocol called for the Disaster Management Center to get the word out to the villagers, but the message never reached them, possibly because of a lack of telephone connectivity in the area, Mr. Bandara said. (NYT)
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