Death toll rises in Sierra Leone mudslide

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By Robert Hackwill
Death toll rises in Sierra Leone mudslide

At least 400 people are now confirmed dead in the massive land and mudlsides that have hit Sierra Leone, and thousands of people are still missing.

The heavy flooding is thought to be Africa’s worst in 20 years, and the country’s president has appealed for international help.

A national emergency was declared when hundreds of homes were swept away.

“And in the worst case there was a landslide which took away a whole section of the hill, just taking homes and families with it as well. So there have just been hundreds of bodies coming out of the dirt… Contamination is an issue we worry about here. Cholera is something the country has faced in the past, so we are trying to provide safe water and look after particularly the children who could be particularly vulnerable,” said UNICEF Head of Communications John James.

The eventual death toll is being forecast at at least 500 but that figure is changing almost by the hour. The country is not even half way through the rainy season and there are fears of more subsidence.