91 killed, 110 missing in Sri Lankan floods, mudslides

The death toll in landslides triggered by heavy rain across Sri Lanka has surpassed 57, with no fewer than 30 other people missing, disaster management officials said on Friday.

Authorities have appealed for worldwide help to assist rescue and relief operations.

The Disaster Management Center said 2,040 people were evacuated to safer locations and more than 61,000 were affected by the rain that started early Friday.

In a written statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: "We would like to extend our honest condolences to the bereaved relatives of those who lost their lives and the people of Sri Lanka, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured".

"We have deployed the army backed by the navy and air force to assist in the rescue operations, " Brig.

Some parts of the country experienced up to 22 inches of rain over the course of 24 hours.

Relief officials said the monsoon had been expected, yet the rainfall recorded was at unexpected levels. In its report, DMC said, "A total of 42 people are missing while two people were injured".

Hundreds are now being evacuated from the southern districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota, where torrential rains have caused floods. Authorities closed all schools in the Sabaragamuwa province, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) east of Colombo due to the rains and floods.

At least 316 people from 84 families in the Ratnapura district alone are affected while some 50 families at Seruwila in Trincomalee, Oddusudan and Welioya in Mullaitivu are at risk, local media reports said.

Last May, Sri Lanka experienced severe floods in which at least a 100 people died.

Mudslides have become increasingly common in the country following rainstorms, as land has become deforested to grow crops like tea and rubber.

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