Protesters storm president's residence in Sri Lanka

STORY: Thousands of protesters in Sri Lanka stormed the president's official residence on Saturday (July 9).

They're angry over the country's worst economic crisis for seven decades.

Footage from local media outlet News Cutter showed demonstrators inside the property, located in the commercial capital Colombo.

The chants you can hear are calling for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down.

He was not inside the residence, two defense ministry sources said, having left on Friday (July 8) ahead of planned weekend rallies.

Footage circulating on social media showed some bathing in the swimming pool inside the president's house.

TV footage also showed thousands breaking open the gates of the presidential secretariat and the finance ministry, which has been the site of a sit-in protest for months.

Amid the political crisis, the office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday that he was willing to resign to make way for an all-party government.

The Indian Ocean island of 22 million people is struggling under a severe foreign exchange shortage.

Essential imports of fuel, food and medicine have been limited.

Soaring inflation is expected to hit 70% in the coming months, heaping hardship on the population.

The situation comes after the global health crisis hammered the tourism reliant economy and has been exacerbated by factors including huge government debt and rising oil prices.

But many blame the country's decline on economic mismanagement by Rajapaksa and largely peaceful protests since March have demanded his resignation.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting