16th April 2017 23:41:44 Hours
As rescue and relief operations, led by hundreds of Army troops of Sri Lanka Light Infantry Regiment, Commandos, Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, Gemunu Watch, together with Navy, Air Force, Police, STF and Disaster Management Centre personnel are in full swing at Meetotamulla where a total of 26 dead bodies, have been so far recovered as the dusk fell on Sunday (16).
A high level meeting summoned this evening at the Disaster Management Centre by HE the President instructed all authorities, including the Army to take immediate steps to provide all affected residents with alternative housing arrangements until permanent houses are built elsewhere.
Security Forces, Police and STF personnel after cordoning off the area and preventing crowds that were thronging the area for a casual sight of the scene are busy round the clock removing debris, rescuing those trapped and buried alive and also recovering dead bodies as bereaved families went on guiding the troops to specific locations where their houses stood a few days earlier before the tragedy struck. Heavy machinery, tractors and vehicles of the Army and sister services continue to remove heaps of garbage from affected areas and assist the crowds with sanitary and immediate health facilities.
Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crisanthe De Silva and Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, Security Force Headquarters - West attended the Presidential meeting at the DMC.