Soldiers in Sri Lanka have stepped up a desperate search for victims of a landslide , with o fficials saying that the chances of finding survivors were slim. More than 100 people are feared to be buried alive on a tea plantation in the island nation’s central hills.
“I have visited the scene and from what I saw I don’t think there will be any survivors,” Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told The Associated Press on Thursday after visiting the site.
Hundreds of rescue workers, using heavy diggers, clawed through tonnes of mud that washed away about 150 tin-roofed homes at the plantation on Wednesday while most of the residents were away at work or in school.
“We are also bringing in an additional 200 troops to add to the 500 already here to carry out the search,” the region’s top military officer, Major General Mano Perera, told reporters.
Rescue efforts were however, being hampered by persistent rains, blamed for the initial mudslide, and the unstable conditions of the surrounding hills, the officer said.