More than 300 dead and 600 missing in Sierra Leone mudslides

A building collapses as devastating mudslide hits Sierra Leone

A building collapses as devastating mudslide hits Sierra Leone

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a condolence message to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, following heavy overnight rains that triggered a mudslide and flood on the outskirts of Freetown, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday in a press release in Monrovia. Military personnel have been deployed to help with the operation in the impoverished West African nation.

Rescue workers have uncovered almost 400 bodies, Freetown's chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya said.

The Sierra Leonean leader said entire communities had been wiped out and that the "devastation was overwhelming us".

Buhari stated that the hearts of Nigerians were with the people of Sierra Leone in this tragic period in the history of the country.

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"A lady ran on to the road and started gesticulating wildly", he said. "I have never observed anything like it", he said.

Charles Mambu, a civil society activist and resident of one affected area, Mount Sugar Loaf, said the magnitude of the destruction indicated that hundreds more people could be dead.

In a sign of hope, he said, "two bodies were brought out alive from the debris last evening".

"Let me assure you that my government is fully engaged on this situation and in collaboration with our development partners we have already established an emergency response centre at Regent to coordinate our response and to provide relief to the survivors".

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"Contingency plans are being put in place to mitigate the outbreak of diseases like cholera", he told a local radio station, FM 98.1.

Authorities say more than 300 were killed in and around Freetown on Monday following heavy rains. The capital also is plagued by unregulated construction of large residential houses in hilltop areas.

"The government has been warning people not to construct houses in these areas". According to the Red Cross, in these areas, "thousands of makeshift settlements are home to the city's poorest communities". "When they do this, there are dangers", Nasir said.

Deforestation for kindling and charcoal is one of the main supporters of the flooding and mudslides.

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