Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Hundreds moved after Lanka dump collapse

Hundreds moved after Lanka dump collapse

A man opens a bag next to military officers during a rescue mission after a garbage dump collapsed and buried dozens of houses in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 15, 2017.

Authorities say the number of dead and missing has risen from the collapse of a massive garbage mound in Meetotamulla. At least 145 houses have been damaged and 180 families affected.

The houses that fell were at the doorstep of this garbage.

Sri Lankan government announces compensation for victims of landfill disaster Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 07:49 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

By Monday morning, authorities had pulled 29 bodies from beneath the debris, according to a lawyer who has worked with locals to protest against the dump.

The Disaster Management Centre said that 30 others are still missing. Bicycles and auto-rickshaws, the three-wheeled vehicles used as local taxis, were crushed or lying topsy-turvy.

The prime minister over the weekend vowed to shut down the dump, which has absorbed much of Colombo's rubbish for several years as much of the capital has undergone extensive renovations.

"The waste dump exposes all political parties and alliances in both provincial and central government as clueless, politically illiterate and insensitive to sensitive issues effecting the people", the group said. "But they brought the garbage in and made this place awful", said rickshaw driver Dilip Mirmal, 34, whose home was spared while those surrounding were completely subsumed.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was visiting Japan at the time, said arrangements had been made to remove the garbage dump, but it came crashing down before relocation work could begin. "I have a mix of feelings, of anger, frustration and sorrow". Another 11 people were injured in the disaster and 150 homes damaged, sparking fears that more could collapse.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.

One auto-rickshaw driver described a narrow escape.

Debris blocked them from fleeing immediately, but eventually they found a way out, Sanjeewa said.

Mr Sanjeewa's family had been heading to their friends' home to celebrate the new year.

Like this: