More than 100 people are believed to have died in a landslide in Sri Lanka, according to a minister.

Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said rescue operations had been suspended for the day because of darkness and inclement weather.

He also said there was a threat of a further landslide.

Mudslides triggered by monsoon rains swept through a tea-growing region earlier, leaving around 200 missing.

Some of the worst damage was recorded at a well-known tea plantation several hours' drive to the east of the capital Colombo.

Rescue efforts had earlier been hampered by damage to roads in the region.

"We have reports of 140 houses getting washed away in the mudslides," said Sarath Kumara, a spokesman for the national Disaster Management Centre.

"There are reports that up to 200 people may be missing."

Mr Kumara said ten bodies had been recovered after the disaster in the Koslanda region, around 200km east of Colombo.

The top military official in the area, Major General Mano Perera, said around 20 units had earlier been deployed for the rescue effort.

The landslide started at about 7.45am (2.15am Irish time) and lasted about ten minutes, Maj Gen Perera said.

"Some houses have been buried in 30 feet (nine metres) of mud," he said.

Maj Gen Perera said the air force and elite police commandos had been deployed for the rescue, adding that they were hopeful of finding survivors.

"We have already rescued some people and they have been sent to hospital," he said, without giving exact figures.

One of the main focuses of the search is the Meeriyabedda tea plantation, which lies close to a beauty spot famous for its waterfalls.

The victims were tea plantation workers and their families.