• Sri Lanka hails record military deployment as toll hits 213

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    COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military recorded its biggest peacetime deployment for search and rescue operations after monsoon rains triggered landslides and floods that killed 213 people, the government said on Monday. Nearly 10,000 troops and paramilitary forces reinforced tens of thousands of police in the relief effort following the May 26 deluge, Disaster Management minister Anura Yapa said. “This is the biggest deployment of troops during peace time in Sri Lanka,” the minister told reporters in Colombo. “They have helped rescue over 10,000 people during the height of the disaster.” One airman fell to his death while winching a marooned woman from a flooded area in the island’s south. A transport helicopter also crashed during a mercy mission carrying food for flood victims, but no one was hurt. The minister said 213 people were now confirmed killed in the May 26 rains that triggered over a dozen landslides and flooded 15 of the island’s 25 districts. Deaths occur every year during the onset of the monsoon, but this year’s flooding was the deadliest since 2003 when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed.

    AFP

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