Sierra Leone landslide: More than 300 killed as roads turn into 'churning rivers of mud'

Sierra Leone landslide: More than 300 killed as roads turn into 'churning rivers of mud'More than 300 people have been killed after a mudslide and heavy flooding in Sierra Leone. Relatives were left digging through mud in search of their loved-ones, as a mortuary in the capital of Freetown was overwhelmed by bodies. Houses were submerged in mud after a night of heavy rain that saw a hillside in the Regent area collapse, with roads described by witnesses as being turned into "churning rivers of mud". Dramatic footage of deadly #Freetown#floods#Sierraleone#climatechangeisreal = more intense rains, flash flooding pic.twitter.com/yvHiceM13y— S4CCC-SL (@scccsierraleone) August 14, 2017 A coroner's official said that more than 200 bodies had been taken to the city mortuary, which was left struggling to cope. The Red Cross said the death toll had risen to 312. However, a precise death toll is not yet clear and is likely to rise as many people might have been asleep when the mudslide happened in the early hours of Monday.  An estimated 2,000 people have also been made homeless after heavy rains caused properties to disappear under water. Houses were left submerged in mud after a night of heavy rain that saw a hillside in the Regent area collapse Credit: Society for Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone Speaking at the scene, Sierra Leone's Vice President, Victor Foh, said: "It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble." He added: "The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken. We're trying to cordon (off) the area (and) evacuate the people." People cried as they looked at the damage under steady rain, gesturing towards a muddy hillside where dozens of houses used to stand. Cars submerged in muddy water in streets in Regent Credit: Society for Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone/AFP 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. Youngsters flee flooded homes in Regent, near Freetown Credit: Society for Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone/AFP Sierra Leone's national television broadcaster interrupted its regular programming to show scenes of people trying to retrieve the bodies of loved-ones. Others were seen carrying relatives' remains in rice sacks to the mortuary. Military personnel have been deployed to help in the rescue operation in the West African country. Flowing water floods the streets in an area on the outskirts of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone  Credit: Society for Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone Fatmata Sesay - who lives on the hilltop area of Juba - said she, her three children and husband were woken at 4.30am by rain beating down on their mud house, which was by then submerged by water. She managed to escape by climbing onto the roof. "We have lost everything and we do not have a place to sleep," she told AFP. Villagers look on in this image that shows the aftermath of the Sierra Leone mudslide Credit: Society for Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone Images shared by local media showed people waist-deep trying to navigate streets of flowing water. Locals carry belongings after the mudslide early on Monday in this picture said to show the scene near Freetown Credit: Society for Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone Other pictures showed scenes after a section of a hill in the Regent area was reported to have collapsed. #SierraLeone#Flood alert Heavy rains cause landslide at Regent, back of GUMA reservoir – Eyewitness report section of hill has collapsed pic.twitter.com/gUEznTqHaQ— S4CCC-SL (@scccsierraleone) August 14, 2017 Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of 1.2 million, is hit annually by flooding during several months of rain that destroys makeshift settlements and raises the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera. Many of the impoverished areas are close to sea level and have poor drainage systems, exacerbating flooding during the country's rainy season. We are saddened to hear about awful flooding in areas of Freetown. The strong spirit of the people of SL & Hull will help you get through. pic.twitter.com/OfTEbPl1d1— The Freetown Society (@FreetownSociety) August 14, 2017 Flooding in the capital in 2015 killed 10 people and left thousands homeless. #freetown #rainseason #myafricanadventure #Komba A post shared by Jacob Lund (@jacobluund) on Aug 14, 2017 at 1:06am PDT Sierra Leone was one of the west African nations hit by an outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014 that left more than 4,000 people dead in the country and it has struggled to revive its economy since the crisis. About 60 percent of people in Sierra Leone live below the national poverty line, according to the United Nations Development Programme.  The mudslide happened in Regent, a town near Freetown in Sierra Leone Hundreds of bodies recovered after mudslides in Sierra Leone 00:58  



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