Hundreds Missing in Sierra Leone Mudslides That Killed Over 260 People

mudslide in the mountain town of Regent, Sierra Leone (Ernest Henry/Reuters)

Severe mudslides in and near Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, resulted in death of at least 260 people, with 600 individuals still missing, according to the latest release by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Sierra Leone Red Cross Secretary General Constant Kargbo said on Tuesday the needs of people in the area are enormous. More than 3,000 individuals lost their homes in mudslides that occurred on Monday after three days of rain.

“The needs are massive. Damaged roads, power outages and broken communication lines present huge challenges for our volunteers to reach and support the affected communities,” Mr. Kargbo said.

IFCR Programme Coordinator Abdul Nasim said he had never seen such devastation.

“A river of mud came out of nowhere and swallowed entire communities, just wiped them away. We are racing against time, more flooding and the risk of disease to help these affected communities survive and cope with their loss,” he said in the release.

According to the information provided by Chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya, nearly 400 bodies have already been found, and the final number of victims was expected to exceed 500.