Published: Wed, August 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

BBCI: Sierra Leone mudslide: At least 600 still missing in Freetown

BBCI: Sierra Leone mudslide: At least 600 still missing in Freetown

More than 200 people were killed when a mudslide struck the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on Monday, sweeping away homes.

The burials are expected to take place on Thursday, government spokesman Cornelius Deveaux said.

Israel has also promised to send in further assistance, including medical assistance and other help depending on the needs of Sierra Leone, where more than 300 people have died in the flooding and mudslides.

"As the search continues, we have collected almost 400 bodies - but we anticipate more than 500", chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya told Reuters.

To relieve pressure on the morgue, authorities and aid agencies were preparing to bury the bodies in four different cemeteries across Freetown, said Idalia Amaya, an emergency response coordinator for Catholic Relief Services.

The Red Cross said 600 people were still missing, though the Interior Minister put the number in the thousands.

Bodies continued to arrive at Freetown's overwhelmed central morgue on Tuesday.

"We need urgent support now", he added. A section of Sugar Loaf mountain came down at around 06:00 a.m. when many people would have been at home sleeping or just getting up for the day.

Efforts to recover more people from the muddy rubble that swept through the Regent area are continuing.

"We are also fearful of outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid". According to Sky News, ActionAid's director said there are over 1,500 people reported missing.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari called Koroma on Tuesday, August 15.

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

Many were trapped under tons of mud as they slept.

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