Colombo, Sri Lanka (AP)– A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers’ houses at a tea estate in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, officials said.
The mudslide struck at around 7:30 a.m. and wiped out 120 workers’ homes at the Meeriabedda tea estate in Badulla district, 218 kilometers (135 miles) east of the capital, Colombo, said Lal Sarath Kumara, an official from the Disaster Management Center.
By early afternoon, rescue workers had pulled out 10 bodies that had been buried by the mudslide, Kumara said. More than 250 other people were missing, he said.
The military mobilized troops to help in the rescue operations.
Most of Sri Lanka has seen heavy rain over the past few weeks, and the Disaster Management Center had issued warnings for mudslides and falling rocks.
The current monsoon season in the Indian Ocean island nation runs from October through December.
Sri Lanka’s famous Ceylon tea is produced mainly in the country’s central hills.