Rescuers in Sri Lanka are searching for dozens of people missing after a landslide in a tea-growing area. The landslide followed heavy rains during monsoon season.
Disaster officials reported more than 250 people missing on Wednesday following a landslide which struck at the Meeribedda tea plantation in Badulla district, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of the capital Colombo.
"We have reports of 140 houses getting washed away in the mudslides," Sarath Kumara, a spokesman for the national Disaster Management Centre (DMC), told the news agency AFP, adding that three people's bodies had been recovered.
The houses belonged to villagers in a tea-producing region, in an area prone to mudslides. Disaster management authorities said they had previously advised villagers to move to safer areas.
A rescue operation was underway involving police, security forces and local volunteers.
Sections of highways had also been washed away in the heavy rains, making access more difficult for rescuers.
se/slk (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)