Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Cornwall rescue team deployed to help Sri Lanka flood victims

Some of the people affected by the adverse weather conditions in Sri Lanka. Photo: Shelterbox

A natural disaster rescue team from Cornwall has deployed to Sri Lanka where half a million people have been affected by monsoon flooding and landslides.

12,000 homes have either been destroyed or damaged in the country after one month's rain fell in just two days.

The Shelterbox team based in Truro have flown out within 36 hours of getting the call about the situation in Sri Lanka.

So it was a normal day in the office, we found out about Sri Lanka, we had 24 hours to make a decision on whether to send a team and then once we we could see the scale of what was happening out here it was clear it was time to go.

– James Luxton, Shelterbox

The charity assesses the needs of the local community and works with the government and other humanitarian organisations on the recovery operation.

A team of six from Shelterbox will work in Sri Lanka over the coming weeks, where access to some areas is still restricted. Operation Lead, James Luxton says people are still reliant on air drops of medicine and food.

On his first exploration of the area, James described seeing landslides every 10-15 seconds and mud piled up on either side of the road, the height of a two-storey house.

The aftermath of one of the many landslides. Credit: Shelterbox

What I saw yesterday in the mountains, I've never seen anything like that anywhere I've ever been with Shelterbox before, obviously every natural disaster is different but to see landslips on those scale...in some areas just the scale of the movement of the earth was absolutely unbelievable.

– James Luxton, Shelterbox

The Cornwall charity also works in Niger, Chad, Peru, Iraq and Syria, helping affected communities there.