• Breaking News

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017

    Mudslides And Floods Bury Hundreds Alive in Sierra Leone




    Reports say so far, more that 350 unidentified bodies have been dumped in the Sierra Leon 's capital Freetown largest hospital morgue, following a mudslide that hit over 1000 homes yesterday Monday August 14 2017, after a hillside collapsed in heavy rains .
    A Health Ministry source of the country spoke of up to 500 deaths, while vice president Victor Foh told journalists, "It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble."
    Red Cross spokesman Abu Bakar Tarrawellie had earlier said the initial death toll stood at 205, but it was likely the number would climb, with rescue efforts ongoing and 600 people missing.
    A torrent of water flows through a flooded neighbourhood in Regent, east of Freetown, Sierra Leone, on Monday.
    "The landslide has stopped. But the area is very disaster prone. It is still a considerable threat to anyone. So we encourage anyone to leave [the area]," Tarrawellie said. "The recovery is a huge challenge."
    Many people living at the foot of Mount Sugar Loaf were asleep when the mountainside collapsed, burying dozens of houses, including two-storey buildings, witnesses said.
    Standing in the rain, residents sobbed as they mourned family members and waited for news of those missing. Adama Kamara wept as she described a failed attempt to rescue her 7-week-old child.
    "We were inside when we heard the mudslide approaching. I attempted to grab my baby but the mud was too fast. She was covered alive," said Kamara, who escaped with bruises. She said she was not sure what had happened to her husband.
    A man said he had left early in the morning to buy bread. When he returned, his wife, children, siblings and in-laws were all dead.
    Mud and water are believed to have killed hundreds in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
    Vice President Victor Foh said at the scene: "It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble." He said a number of illegal buildings had been erected in the area.

    "The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken," he said. "We're trying to cordon the area. Evacuate the people."
    Rescue workers carry the body of a victim from the site of a mudslide in Regent, east of Freetown, Sierra Leone on Monday.
    Volunteers could be seen in the neighbourhood of Lumley helping to extricate mangled bodies with their bare hands. The sound of sirens could be heard everywhere, though flooded roads hindered rescue work.
    People survey the damage after mudslides in Regent.
    An excavator ploughed away at the mountainside and ambulances rushed back and forth to the city centre with bodies and wounded, but rescue efforts were hampered by bad roads and the weather, a witness said.
    Community Chief Fatmata Tarawallie said she had started calling for help at 4 a.m but that it did not come soon enough.
    "Now our community has sunk," she said.
    The flooding and mudslides took place after torrential rain.
    Mudslides and floods are fairly common during the rainy season in West Africa, where deforestation and poor town planning has put residents at risk. 
    With Excerpts from Reuters

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