Sri Lanka landslide kills 10, over 250 missing

A landslide buried more than 140 houses in south-central Sri Lanka on Wednesday after days of heavy rain.

FILE: Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the landslide was at least 3 kilometres long. Picture: AFP.

COLOMBO - A landslide buried more than 140 houses in south-central Sri Lanka on Wednesday after days of heavy rain, killing at least 10 people with more than 250 missing, officials said.

Children who left for school in the morning returned to find their houses in the village of Haldummulla, 192 km from the capital Colombo, had been buried, media said.

"Rescue operations have recovered 10 bodies so far," Pradeep Kodippili, spokesman for the Disaster Management Centre, said.

"...Over 250 people are still missing and 140 houses are buried."

Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the landslide was at least 3 km long. Villagers had been advised to move away because of the threat of a landslide, but many did not heed the warning, he said.

"I was under the rubble and some people took me out... my mother and aunt have died," a woman who was being treated for injuries told media.

"We saw smoke around the area. Some people shouted and asked us to run away, so we ran," another survivor said.