Sri Lanka monsoon death toll hits to 164

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MNA International Desk: Sri Lanka’s monsoon toll climbed to 164 with the discovery of more bodies of people buried in landslides triggered by intense rains, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said on Monday.

Friday’s deluge also caused the island’s worst flooding in 14 years and drove nearly half a million people out of their inundated homes in the southern and western regions.

The DMC said 104 people were still listed as missing while another 88 remained in hospital.

Police said an air force Mi-17 transport helicopter crashed in the southern Baddegama area Monday while transporting relief supplies to flood victims.

The government said relief operations had intensified over the weekend following a break in the monsoon rains.

However, the meteorological department said it expected more rain on Monday and Tuesday that could hamper relief operations.

Nearly 2,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Sri Lanka has sought international assistance, with India sending two naval ships laden with supplies over the weekend.