The Sri Lankan government said Monday the cost of the country’s landslides and floods would be at least between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. The official death toll in the catastrophe has reportedly risen to 92, with 109 people still feared buried in landslides.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Reuters that more than 125,000 houses and more than 300,000 small and medium businesses were destroyed or damaged. He added: “This minimum damage cost does not include damaged vehicles, equipment and machinery. We urge foreign donors to channel their relief efforts through the government.”
The South Asian island nation is currently struggling to recover from its worst natural disaster since the 2004 Asia tsunami as days of torrential rains continue to wreck havoc in the lives of the residents in some parts of the country. According to Reuters, more than 350,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
The Associated Press cited Maj. Gen. Sudatha Ranasinghe, coordinator for the search efforts in the landslide-hit district of Kegalle, who said relief work was expected to pick up as soon as the weather conditions turn favorable.
The rain had stopped in many parts of the island nation Sunday, and waters were reportedly receding from the flooded streets of the capital, Colombo.