Sierra Leone declares a week of national mourning after mudslide

Family of victims of heavy flooding and mudslides in Regent wait to identify their bodies at Connaught hospital morgue in Sierra Leone Freetown Wednesday Aug. 16, 2017. Family members lined up in the pouring rain to identify their loved ones’ remain

Sierra Leone declares a week of national mourning after mudslide

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has directed the provision of urgent relief to the Republic of Sierra Leone, which has suffered a natural disaster due to heavy rains causing landslides that have killed some 300 people and displaced hundreds more.

Three days of torrential rain triggered mudslides on Monday in the Regent area of the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown.

Survivors of the Sierra Leone mudslide are digging mass graves for the hundreds of victims, more than 100 of which are children.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry says it has delivered thousands of meals to Sierra Leone as the West African country recovers from a deadly mudslide.

"After looking at drone images, we have realized that we have a bigger portion of about 29.1 hectares (71 acres) that is likely to collapse", Tunis said.

Chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya told Reuters on Tuesday that almost 400 bodies had been brought in and that he anticipated more than 500 as the search continued.

"... Tobinco has come on board expressing willingness to donate some medicine so we also wish that the good people of this country to take this cue from Tobinco and donate whatever; be it used-clothing, some food, some medicine, mosquito nets, blankets - we will all add these up".

Government spokesman Cornelius Deveaux said rescue operations began early Tuesday to remove people still believed to be buried in the rubble.

It appealed to Ghanaians and the global community to provide a helping hand in the form of materials, relief items and other donations to people in Sierra Leone. Around 3,000 people are homeless, the whole situation is now looking as more as a humanitarian crisis.

The burials involved people who had already been identified or whose bodies were badly decomposed, Freetown's chief pathologist Simeon Owizz Koroma said.

Houses that hugged the slopes of Mount Sugar Loaf, many of them little more than wooden shacks with tin roofs, were buried after torrents of mud poured down under the force of the water.

"I have never seen anything like it", said Abdul Nasir, programme coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. A woman who spoke to ABC News said that she lost at least 28 family members in this mudslide.

The prevailing sentiment among those in the disaster areas had shifted from shock and grief to anger at what is an annual problem in Freetown, she said, though never before on this scale.

Mudslides and floods are fairly common in rainy parts of Africa, and deforestation and poor town planning often contribute to the risk.

10-year-old rape survivor delivers baby after Supreme Court denies abortion
Man falls from crane, dies after police chase