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Sierra Leone: hundreds feared dead in massive mudslide after heavy rain in Freetown

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Sierra Leone: hundreds feared dead in massive mudslide after heavy rain in Freetown

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Hundreds of people are feared dead in Sierra Leone following a massive mudslide.

Dozens of houses were submerged in mud after heavy rain caused a hillside to collapse in the mountain town of Regent on the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Some reports put the death toll as high as 200. As many as 60 children are thought to be among the victims.

Witnesses described roads being turned into “churning rivers of mud”.

The country’s Vice President Victor Foh told Reuters “It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the
rubble.” He said that a number of illegal buildings had been erected in the area.

“The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken,” Foh
added. “We’re trying to cordon (off) the area (and) evacuate the
people.”

Mudslides and floods are fairly common during the rainy
season in West Africa, where deforestation and poor town
planning put residents at risk.