Colombo, Sri Lanka. Most of the world lives on less than $2.USD a day, so something as strange as people dying from being burried in trash sounds insane in the west. But in the undeveloped third world it is just another day of life and death as people struggle to live in a world of no opportunities in their zip code.
So far, at least 16 people have been killed and more than 600 others fled their homes after a massive mound of garbage collapsed on part of a town outside of Sri Lanka’s capital during festivities to mark the local new year, officials said Saturday.
Four people were rescued from underneath the mound, but it was unclear whether any others were buried, said military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne. Soldiers were still searching the site as of publication.
The Sri Lankan spokesperson Seneviratne further added 625 people whose homes were either destroyed or under threat were being housed in nearby schools, in response to the disaster.
The Disaster Management Center in Colombo stated at least 12 other people were injured in the incident, which happened Friday night in Meetotamulla, a town near Colombo.
The site has been used to dump Colombo’s garbage for the past few years as authorities sought to give the capital a face-lift. But residents living in tiny homes in the area have protested against waste being dumped there because of health hazards.
International aide experts point to Sri Lanka as an example of what life today has become in the undeveloped world as people without economic opportunities are at risk from environmental consequences and a lack of central planning.