Death toll rises to 29, four days after garbage dump collapse in Sri Lanka

  • A 90 meter garbage dump collapsed in Sri Lanka
  • Death toll rises to 29
  • Heavy rains caused the collapse of the giant garbage dump

Colombo, Sri Lanka – Four days after the collapse of the giant rubbish dump in the Sri Lankan capital, the death toll already rose to 29 and officials are still uncertain over the number of missing.

The 90-meter dump in the Meethotamulla area on the border of the heart of Colombo collapsed after flames engulfed it late on Friday, the country’s official New Year’s day, burying many homes.

Military spokesman Roshan Senivirathna said that survival was “very unlikely” but they would still continue the rescue mission involving more than 1,000 emergency workers.

“The hill came down in quite a strong manner where in some areas we had to dig up to 20 feet, and in some areas it might be little further. Depending on the information we get from the people.. we can continue our process,” he told.

Authorities are struggling to determine the exact number of missing people.

Both the military spokesman and a DMC official said the death toll had reached 29.

The authorities have ordered a stop to garbage dumping at the nearest site, the largest in the country, where 800 tons of waste is dumped on a daily basis, mainly from Colombo city.

The police are investigating whether the landslide was natural or man-made.