At least 10 people have been killed and another three were feared dead after they were buried in a landslide on Indonesia's Sulawesi island, police said Wednesday.

A steep part of a hill in the Morowali district of Central Sulawesi province collapsed on Tuesday and engulfed dozens of people working for a local palm oil company, local police chief Suhirman told AFP.

"The workers were taking a lunch break on the hill's slope when the incident happened," he said.

Heavy rains as well as excavation work to build an access road for the plantation company may have been partly to blame for the landslide, he said, adding that 18 people were also injured, most suffering broken bones.

Search and rescue teams were trying to locate the three missing people using heavy machinery but hopes were slim of finding them alive as they were buried in about five metres of earth, Suhirman said.

At least 148 people were killed earlier this month when flash floods struck a remote region of eastern Indonesia.

Indonesia's climatology agency said most parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago had experienced torrential rains, strong winds, high waves and flooding due to extreme weather this year.