"We have suspended the rescue operations because of darkness and inclement weather. There is also a threat of further landslides."
The mudslide smashed into Meeriyabedda tea plantation of Haldummulla, at 07:30 local time. About 150 people were trapped under the rubble while another 75 children and 75 adults were safe, said Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Disaster Management.An about 330 people had been living at the location at the time of the tragedy.
The mobilized armed forces and civilians are positioned to help with the rescue operation. The land slide had also destroyed 120 estate line rooms and three government quarters, Sri Lankan media agency Daily mirror had reported.
The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said an area of about two kilometres had been affected in the landslide.
Sri Lanka experiencing heavy rain over the past few weeks due to the monsoon season in the Indian Ocean. The DMC had issued warnings of mudslides and falling rocks.
In June, 2014 landslides during the monsoon rains in Sri Lanka killed at least 22 people and forced thousands from their homes.