Yoweri Museveni of Uganda

Scores of people are feared dead after a landslide struck villages in a mountainous region of eastern Uganda, officials say.

The Ugandan Red Cross told the BBC that the landslide had buried at least 15 homes in Bududa district.

Villages affected are near Mount Elgon, a major tourist attraction, which is close to the border with Kenya, reports BBC.

The Red Cross has sent a team to the area to assess the extent of the damage and loss of life.

Uganda Red Cross Secretary General, Michael Richard Nataka told the BBC that in one village alone 15 homes had been buried and another 29 were at risk. At least two other villages have also been affected, he said.

He said 20 people had been confirmed dead and the toll could rise.

“The initial estimate [of those killed] is between 20 and 100,” he said.

Nataka said that at least nine people had been injured.

Local MP, David Wakikona told Reuters that the area had been experiencing heavy rains for several days.

“I am told the landslides started at around midday [Monday] and that they are still going on and some villagers who survived the early slides are fleeing,” he said.

BBC East Africa correspondent, Gabriel Gatehouse in neighbouring Kenya says the area is prone to landslides, partly due to deforestation on the coffee-producing slopes of Mount Elgon.

Last August, at least 24 people were killed when torrential rains triggered landslides in the Bulambuli district of eastern Uganda.

In March 2010, about 100 people died in a landslide in Bududa.