Asia

Residents camp on rooftops in flooded Sri Lankan capital

  • A relative of a missing Sri Lankan family watches as army soldiers search for victims under the debris of a house in Elangapitiya village in Aranayaka, some 72 kilometers (45 miles) north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Heavy rains Thursday continued to pound the central Sri Lankan region where at least three villages have already been swallowed by mountains of mud, forcing army soldiers and police to suspend rescue work. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    A relative of a missing Sri Lankan family watches as army soldiers search for victims under the debris of a house in Elangapitiya village in Aranayaka, some 72 kilometers (45 miles) north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Heavy rains Thursday continued to pound the central Sri Lankan region where at least three villages have already been swallowed by mountains of mud, forcing army soldiers and police to suspend rescue work. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Sri Lankan man crosses a submerged road in Wellampitiya, outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 20, 2016. The weeklong rains have caused chaos across Sri Lanka, unleashing deadly landslides and driving tens of thousands from their homes. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    A Sri Lankan man crosses a submerged road in Wellampitiya, outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 20, 2016. The weeklong rains have caused chaos across Sri Lanka, unleashing deadly landslides and driving tens of thousands from their homes. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Sri Lankan man tries to cross a flooded street in Wellampitiya outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 20, 2016. The weeklong rains have caused chaos across Sri Lanka, unleashing deadly landslides and driving tens of thousands from their homes. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    A Sri Lankan man tries to cross a flooded street in Wellampitiya outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 20, 2016. The weeklong rains have caused chaos across Sri Lanka, unleashing deadly landslides and driving tens of thousands from their homes. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of homes are underwater in the Sri Lankan capital after weeklong rains that left tens of thousands stranded and unleashed deadly mudslides elsewhere across the island nation.

The floodwaters have driven Colombo residents to camp on rooftops awaiting help. Hundreds of rescue boats plied water as deep as 3.5 meters (12 feet), taking the elderly or sick to shelters or hospitals, and delivering food and bottled water to others.

Electricity has been shut down in flooded areas. Officials have counted 58 deaths since Monday from lightning strikes, drowning, falling trees and landslides triggered by cyclonic rains that started Sunday.

In the central district of Kegalle, soldiers were searching for hundreds missing after landslides swallowed three hillside villages Tuesday.