In Sri Lanka, more than 200 families are missing and feared buried under the mud and debris after massive landslides triggered by torrential rains crashed down onto three villages. A Red Cross official said, the death toll could be much higher than the official figure of 35 listed so far.

More than 1,000 people who escaped the disaster were sheltering and being treated for minor injuries at a nearby

school and a Buddhist temple. A military spokesman said Troops using boats and helicopters also pulled to safety more than 200 people trapped in the northwestern coastal district of Puttalam.

Nearly 135,000 people across the country have been displaced and were being housed in temporary shelters. The landslide happened in the central hills near the town of Aranayake late on Tuesday afternoon.

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