Death Toll in Sri Lanka Mudslides, Floods Exceeds 200

Mud and slush cover the site of a landslide in Kiribathgala, in Ratnapura district, Sri Lanka.

Photographer: Eranga Jayawardena/AP Photo

Colombo, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sri Lanka's government says the death toll from mudslides and floods has exceeded 200, with 96 others missing.

The Disaster Management Center said Wednesday that 202 people are confirmed dead. More than 77,000 have been displaced and over 1,500 homes destroyed since rains began swamping the southern and western areas of the Indian Ocean island nation last Friday.

Sri Lanka's army, navy and air force are continuing relief and rescue efforts supported by divers and navy personnel who have arrived from India.

Mudslides have become common during Sri Lanka's summer monsoon season as forests across the tropical Indian Ocean island nation have been cleared for export crops such as tea and rubber. A massive landslide a year ago killed more than 100 people in central Sri Lanka.

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