Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed government’s regret for not being able to move the garbage dump in Meethotamulla area of Colombo in time before the tragedy struck.
Prime minister in a special statement said the plans necessary for removal of the garbage dump were made and actions were being taken but the tragedy occurred before they could complete the task. At least 23 people have been killed and 13 injured when a 91-metre-high garbage dump collapsed on houses nearby on Friday.
Mr. Wicremsinghe, who is currently in Japan on an official visit, said as soon as he learnt about the incident, he contacted all relevant officials and held discussions on relief efforts.
Meanwhile, rescue efforts are on at the site to clear the debris and trace the missing persons. A police spokesman said around 145 houses have been damaged and 180 families affected. However, the number of missing persons is not yet confirmed with some locals saying it may be in dozens.
Residents of over 130 houses in the location have been advised to evacuate for fear of more garbage collapsing and the area has been declared as danger zone.