Sri Lankan villagers prepare to bury victims of a landslide at a cemetery in Bellana village, in Kalutara district in, Sri Lanka, Saturday, May 27, 2017. Sri Lanka has appealed for outside help as dozens were killed in floods and mudslides and dozens others went missing. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka mudslide, flood deaths rise to 126; 97 missing

May 28, 2017 - 1:15 am

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan rescuers are taking advantage of improving weather and receding floodwaters to reach thousands of people in need to basic supplies after floods and mudslides left at least 126 dead.

Officials say hope is fading for finding survivors among 97 people missing in two days of torrential rains and landslides that swamped western and southern regions. More than 100,000 are displaced.

The U.N says that it is assisting in relief efforts in response to a government appeal.

Although the weather has cleared, more rains are forecast for Sunday and Monday.

Mudslides have become common in Sri Lanka during monsoon rains due to heavy deforestation that leaves soil unable to hold water.

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