Support Sri Lankan landslide victims

HEAVY rains are hampering rescue efforts and hopes are fading for the possibility of finding survivors among the 130 missing in the Sri Lankan region which was hit by landslides that have left 58 people dead. According to the country’s Disaster Management Centre, the landslides, on Tuesday, wiped out at least three villages in the central hills of Aranayaka following torrential rains that have affected up to 350,000 people.
Though different agencies of Sri Lankan Government including Army are taking part in the rescue operation but the task is huge as according to a government official who is part of the rescue efforts in Kegalle district, about 72km from Colombo, one village, Siripura, was buried 12 metres under the mud. Rescue efforts are also hampered because of inundation of linking roads and there are warnings of more landslides and lightning strikes in the country as more rains are forecast in addition to rough seas along the coasts. Under these circumstances, there is dire need for the international community and the UN agencies to come to the rescue of Sri Lanka and provide necessary assistance in the shape of food, necessities of life, medical teams and professional rescue teams. Mere statements of solidarity would not suffice and practical steps should be taken to help Sri Lanka overcome this most difficult time. We would also urge the Government of Pakistan to immediately dispatch relief goods to Sri Lanka to mitigate sufferings of the affected people. The National Disaster Management Authority should establish immediate contacts with its counterpart in Sri Lanka to assess immediate requirements of assistance, which should be dispatched on priority basis. As Sri Lanka has always been in the forefront of relief and rescue efforts in the wake of floods and earthquakes in Pakistan, it is but natural that philanthropists in Pakistan should come forward and donate generously for the help of affected people in Sri Lanka.

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