COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – At least nine people were killed and 10 others were missing in mudslides triggered by heavy rains Friday in the central hills of Sri Lanka, officials said.
More than 60,000 people have been evacuated and 3,000 homes destroyed as floods and mudslides have covered many parts of the Indian Ocean island in the last four days, disaster officials said.
Nine people were killed and two injured in mudslides Friday in the tea-growing Badulla district when their houses were buried in landslides, said Udaya Kumara, an official at the state disaster management center. Ten others were missing and rescue operations were temporarily halted due to risk of further landslides, he said.
The inclement weather has so far affected more than 500,000 people across the country.
The meteorology department has warned that thundershowers and heavy rains will occur in many parts of the island nation and asked people in coastal areas to be vigilant.
It is monsoon season in some parts of Sri Lanka, but many other areas not normally affected are also experiencing nonseasonal rains.
Dozens of people were killed in October when mudslides buried homes of tea plantation workers in the country’s central hills.