The garbage pile collapsed burying adjoining households. Rescue work was still underway with the assistance of Sri Lanka Army, Airforce and the police.
Among the dead were seven school children.
This is the first such tragedy to hit Sri Lanka. Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the media that he would take steps to remove the garbage dump.
"There is a land of 21 acres here covered with garbage piled over the years. We will take back that land for development as an urban park," he said.
The 91-meter-high massive garbage dump collapsed on Friday evening, burying over 100 homes and displacing over 600 people as the country celebrated its traditional New Year.
***Dieu Créateur, considérez que nous ne nous entendons pas nous-même et que nous ne savons pas ce que nous voulons, et que nous nous éloignons infiniment de ce que nous désirons.