10 Dead, Over 250 Missing in Sri Lanka Mudslide

A Sri Lanka Buddhist monk places flowers at a monument during a commemoration of disappeared people at Raddoluwa, a suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Dozens of parents and relatives gathered at the monument for the disappeared to remember their family members who went missing in three major armed insurgencies since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948. Tens of thousands of young men and women disappeared mostly in the state crackdown of two Marxist insurgencies and a 25-years long separatist civil war by ethnic Tamil armed groups. The insurgents groups were also accused of abductions and killings. Sri Lanka’s government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group, that were locked in the country’s decades-long civil war now face a United Nations investigation over allegations of war crimes in the final months of the conflict. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

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.

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