Japan offers technical help as Sri Lanka garbage toll rise

ECONOMYNEXT – Japan has offered to send technical experts to evaluate the situation after the collapse of the Kolonnawa garbage dump killed at least 21 and destroyed nearly 150 homes.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is visiting Japan, said in a statement that Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe offered technical assistance to deal with the disaster. A Japanese technical team is expected in Sri Lanka shortly, the Prime Minister said.

His remarks came as police reported another two deaths overnight, raising the total number of people confirmed killed to 21 in Friday’s incident that marred the country’s new year celebrations.

A top police official at the site said the rescue effort by hundreds of military personnel and local volunteers was now turning into a recovery operation as hopes faded for at least four people listed missing.

President Maithripala Sirisena held a meeting on Sunday morning at the Disaster Management Centre in Colombo to review the work so far and discuss steps to relocate some 625 residents.

An official at the meeting said the Urban Development Authority was ready to provide immediate housing for the displaced persons. Financial implications are to be worked out. (COLOMBO, April 16, 2017)

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