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More than 300 killed as landslides and flash flooding hit Freetown, Sierra Leone

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More than 300 people have been killed in and around Sierra Leone's capital Freetown after heavy overnight rain caused landslides and flash flooding early Monday, August 14, 2017.

The hardest hit appears to be the mountainous town of Regent, on the outskirts of Freetown, where a massive landslide killed hundreds. 

According to Sierra Leone Red Cross, there are already more than 312 casualties, but the death toll is expected to soar as many people might have been asleep when the Regent landslide happened.

"It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble. The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken. We're trying to cordon off the area and evacuate the people," Sierra Leone's Vice President, Victor Foh, said.

Sinneh Kamara, a coroner technician at the Connaught Hospital, told local media that the number of those killed had overwhelmed the facility.

"The capacity at the mortuary is too small for the corpses," he told the Sierra Leone National Broadcasting Corporation.

Early estimates mention 2 000 people have been made homeless after heavy rains flooded their homes.

Updates

August 19

 

Five days after the fatal floods and landslides in Sierra Leone's Freetown area, rainfall continues and the threat of further landslides remains.

As of August 19, up to 450 bodies have been removed from the rubble in 13 communities in and around Freetown. 300 of them were buried in a mass burial on August 18. 330 people are reported injured and 810 missing. Read more…

Featured image: Massive flash floods and landslides hit Freetown, Sierra Leone after heavy overnight rain on August 14, 2017

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