Over hundred killed in Sierra Leone mudslide

Over hundred killed in Sierra Leone mudslide

Over hundred killed in Sierra Leone mudslide

No fewer than 300 people have died killed in a mudslide near Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, the AFP reports.

The Sierra Leone meteorological department did not issue any warning ahead of the torrential rains to hasten evacuation from the disaster zones, AFP's correspondent based in Freetown said.

Addressing the media in the Regent hilltop community of Freetown, one of the areas hit hardest by a mudslide that has destroyed homes, Koroma fought back tears as he said the devastation "was overwhelming us". According to descriptions of eyewitnesses, the house was nearly completely submerged in the mud, and roads turned into "shoot down rivers of mud".

Emergency services have been put in place as vehicular traffic has been severely hit.

A journalist at the scene saw bodies being carried away and houses submerged in two areas of the city, where roads were turned into churning rivers of mud and corpses washed up on the streets.

The death toll now stands at 312 but it is likely that not even a quarter of the bodies have been found.

Freetown's city morgue says bodies have had to be stored in corridors.

An official in charge at the Connaught Hospital's mortuary said on Tuesday, in Kamara said a total of 280 bodies had been brought to the facility, while the ambulance has just left to collect six more bodies that were discovered on Tuesday morning.

A high volume of bodies continue to be recovered from underneath the rubble, with the death toll expected to rise.

The mudslides in Freetown have been described as the worst natural disaster to strike Sierra Leone, a country that has already suffered from a decade of civil war and an Ebola outbreak that took the lives of over 8,000 people. Disaster officials in Sierra Leone have estimated 2,000 people have been left homeless.

"Our local aid workers in Sierra Leone are telling us that they are especially concerned for the welfare and safety of girls and women, who are the most vulnerable at this time".

Numerous impoverished areas of Sierra Leone's capital are close to sea level and have poor drainage systems, exacerbating flooding during the West African country's rainy season.

"The prime minister has ordered the Foreign Ministry to extend aid to Sierra Leone in any way and as soon as possible", his office said.

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