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Ten dead and 250 missing in mudslide

A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka yesterday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing.

The military mobilised troops to help with the rescue operation as rain continued to fall in the island nation's central hills.

Mud covered some of the destroyed homes up to their roofs, and water gushing down hillsides indicated more slides were possible.

P Arumugam, who works as a driver on the plantation, said he rushed there when he heard about the mudslide.

"Everything that I saw yesterday I could not see today - buildings, the temple and shops had all disappeared. I could only see mud everywhere," he said.

The mudslide struck at around 7.30am and wiped out 120 workers' homes at the Koslanda tea plantation, said Lal Sarath Kumara, an official from the Disaster Management Centre.

The plantation is in Koslanda in the Badulla district, about 220km east of the capital, Colombo.