Published: Thu, August 17, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

300 Dead, 600 Missing After Sierra Leone Mudslide — Twitter Reacts

300 Dead, 600 Missing After Sierra Leone Mudslide — Twitter Reacts

At least 300 people are confirmed dead a day after mudslides and heavy flooding struck Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

Witnesses described roads in the town of Regent, located in the hills above Freetown, as being turned into "churning rivers of mud" to the UK Telegraph after the mudslide in the early hours of Monday.

According to weather.com meteorologists, the area has seen almost 20 inches more rain than average over the last 30 days.

The bodies floated down the streets and piled up at the morgue, where the coroners struggled to find room for all of the dead.

"We pray that God will grant the people of Sierra Leone the strength they will need to get through this hard time". He said that the area was being cordoned off as people were being evacuated, including many still feared trapped in their homes.

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Ishmeal Charles, a charity worker for the Healey Relief Foundation and Caritas Freetown, told the BBC that words could not do justice to the scale of the tragedy.

A mortuary in the capital Freetown was overwhelmed yesterday, with more than 400 bodies spread on the floor.

I want to thank all the humanitarian agencies, the media, the national disaster emergency and response team, the security agencies, medical personnel and members of the public who have shown exemplary acts of compassion and care to the victims and affected families in providing assistance and support. There is also a lack of large machinery in Freetown, so many people are digging by hand. Others were seen carrying relatives' remains in rice sacks to the mortuary.

The British organization and volunteers from the Sierra Leone Red Cross are assisting the government search and rescue operations.

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.

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Vice-President Victor Foh said "it is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble".

"The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken", he added.

And while these people need our help in the short-term, we also need to be aware that the rains are expected to continue over the coming weeks. The mud came down with the water so fast and my son did not escape.

The city of around a million people often experiences flooding during the annual rainy season, when there's a spike in the risk of potentially deadly waterborne diseases. The mudslide happened in the Regent district, which is home to thousands of people.

"Kenya and Sierra Leone are allies, partners, and friends". An estimated 25 homes were submerged in mud, and more than 100 were affected, the Red Cross told NPR.

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"We are going to open churches to provide shelter".

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