Special committee to set up Koslanda relief operations

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said a special committee had been set up to handle the distribution of relief among the victims of the Koslanda landslide. No one other than people’s representatives, government officials, members of the security forces, the police and journalists would be allowed to visit the area where search and relief operations were underway. "There have been complaints from those engaged in those operations that visitors hamper their work," he said.

Minister Amarweera said 31 persons were still missing and eight bodies had been recovered.

The Minister said that only three children had lost both their parents and four children lost their mothers due to Wednesday’s catastrophe. He said earlier reports that 75 children had lost their both parents were incorrect. He added that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had ordered that the state look after the orphans until they completed their higher studies.

Amaraweera said that 63 houses, six estate housing units (line room), one official residence, two shops, one milk collection centre and a Kovil had been destroyed by the landslide.

"At present 1,755 including people in the landslide prone areas in the Haldummulla Divisional Secretariat are being accommodated at the welfare centers," he said, adding that 3,849 people in the Badulla District were living in temporary shelters due to inclement weather.

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