The death toll from the storm has risen to 40 fishermen dead and several still missing, the Disaster Management Center said this afternoon.
DMC spokesman Sarath Lal said that the bodies of the 40 fishermen have been recovered and search and rescue operations are underway to locate those missing.
Over 100 houses have also been reported as being fully damaged by the storm, the DMC said.
The Sri Lanka Air Force said yesterday that it has deployed it’s Beech King Air (B-200T Beechcraft) surveillance aircraft to search the coastal area from Kollupitiya to Galle as part of a continuous joint search and rescue operation being conducted together with the navy to locate the missing fishermen.
It also said that rescue helicopters are on standby to respond to any eventuality.
The navy said it has also increased its search and rescue deployments and has added another ship along with five additional fast attack crafts for the relief operation.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought an explanation from Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera on how the public was informed about the impending storm on Friday night. (Colombo Gazette)