Sri Lanka's government has raised the death toll from landslides and heavy flooding around the island nation to 73, as soldiers continue searching for scores of people missing since deadly landslides struck hill country several days ago.

In the capital, Colombo, and its suburbs, thousands of homes remained inundated Saturday, though there were signs of the waters receding. About 243,000 people remained in temporary shelters nationwide.

Soldiers looked for bodies among thick mud deposits in the central district of Kegalle, where landslides swallowed up three villages on Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, who is coordinating the search, said one body and parts of another were found Saturday. Twenty-one people have been confirmed dead from the landslides in the three villages and 123 others are missing.