Over 300 killed, 2000 homeless as mudslides sack Sierra Leone

Over 300 killed, 2000 homeless as mudslides sack Sierra Leone

The office made no mention of a death toll. We were trying to flee.

Tarawallie says recovery efforts face serious challenges.

Freetown is dotted with scores of informal settlements, many of which are on hilltops or close to the sea, making them vulnerable to landslides and flooding. Beyond emergency aid relief, we need to help rebuild their communities and give them hope for the future.

"The number rose from 205 to 245, the search continued this morning, and we expect that number to rise", Abu Bakarr, spokesman for the Red Cross in Sierra Leone, told CNN on Tuesday.

Freetown Mayor, Sam Gibson, told reporters that rescue operations continue in the town of Regent where the mudslide happened on Monday morning.

Earlier, Mr Koroma urged people to stay away from the affected areas. "At least a hundred houses have been affected, some of which have been completely submerged".

Initial Red Cross estimates have said as many as 3,000 people are left homeless and the figure is expected to rise. "No organized structure or shelter has been put in place for them". The Red Cross said its volunteers have so far rescued 71 people.

Salimatu Bangura, 36, escaped but her brother died.

"We were inside. We heard the mudslide approaching".

"We pray that God will rest the souls of the departed in peace; that he will comfort the bereaved; and that he will grant the people of Sierra Leone the strength they will need to get through this hard time", Kenyatta said.

While Sierra Leone endures flooding every year, authorities were unprepared for the scale of this year's deluge. He adds: "The only particularity of this is that it is unprecedented that for the first time we are having this magnitude of impact and huge loss of property and lives".

Numerous impoverished areas of Sierra Leone's capital are close to sea level and have poor drainage systems, exacerbating flooding during this West African country's rainy season. "The government is failing to provide housing for the poorest in society".

The scale of the human cost of the floods was only becoming clear on Monday afternoon, as images of battered corpses piled on top of each other circulated and residents spoke of their struggles to cope with the destruction and find their loved ones.



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