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Sierra Leone: Hundreds dead in Freetown mudslide

15th Aug 2017
Sierra Leone: Hundreds dead in Freetown mudslide

By Alpha Kamara

 

DAKAR, Senegal (AA): Hundreds of people were killed and many others remain trapped in their homes after a mudslide in Sierra Leonean capital Freetown Monday, according to hospital and relief agency officials. 2,000 people have been left homeless.

A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rains, leaving many houses completely covered in mud.

Connaught hospital Mortuary Coroner Sinneh Kamara told national broadcaster SLBC Television that more than two hundred corpses had been collected so far.

“The bodies were collected in areas that experienced flooding and mudslide this morning in the city of Freetown,” Kamara said.

Sierra Leone Red Cross said it was responding to the disaster. “We can confirm that our team on the ground has participated in recovering 312 bodies from the muds,” it said in a statement.

“Our nation has once again been gripped by grief. Many of our compatriots have lost their lives, many more have been gravely injured and billions of Leones’ worth of property destroyed in the flooding and landslides that swept across some parts of our city,” President Ernest Bai Koroma said.

“Every single family, every single ethnic group, every single region is either directly or indirectly affected by this disaster,” Koroma added.

Sierra Leonean Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh said it was “likely that hundreds more are lying dead underneath the rubble”.

“The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken,” Foh told national media.

Yasmin Ibrahim, a resident in one of the affected areas called Regent, said she saw three dead bodies of her neighbors being taken to a mortuary by an ambulance.

“I am afraid dozens more are trapped under the rubble,”she added.

In September 2015, a similar disaster in Freetown claimed the lives of nine people and displaced thousands others.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Residents walk through floodwaters in an area of Freetown, after landslides struck the capital of the west African state of Sierra Leone on August 14, 2017. Photographer: Stringer/AA]

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