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Sierra Leone Mudslides

The death toll in Sierra Leone continues to rise after mudslides and torrential flooding


Updated August 21, 2017 03:05 PM EDT

The people are Sierra Leone are begging for help a week after the devastating mudslide that left more than 500 dead.

We are appealing to people in the world, if they can hear us, let them help us, please. -- Gabriel Fattah Manga, Survivor

Sierra Leone Mudslides
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim from the site of a mudslide in Regent, east of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. Mudslides and torrential flooding has killed many people in and around Sierra Leone's capital early Monday following heavy rains, with many victims thought to be trapped in homes buried under tons of mud. (AP Photo/ Manika Kamara)

A third of those killed were children.

"We just saw the hill coming down, so some of us we ran away. After that somebody came and took us. When they carry my child - I didn't see my husband again. I look for him. I look for him. I didn't see my uncle. My sister she lost two of her children -- Wuiatu Kondeh, Survivior

Hundreds of people are still missing and over 20,000 people are now homeless.

This issue that happened in Sierra Leone will happen to anybody. So this is where we're appealing very passionately - Come to the aid of Sierra Leone we've never received a disaster of such a magnitude in just one day. -- Abdulai Bayraytay, Sierra Leone Presidential Spokesman

Survivors are currently living under the threat of disease because of all the dead bodies.

Updated August 20, 2017 05:12 PM EDT

Hospital officials in Sierra Leone say the death toll from horrible mudslides in the country has now risen to at least 500.

More than 600 people remain missing and rescue officials have warned that the chances of finding survivors are decreasing each day.

The Inter-Religious Council called for the services to be held Sunday in honor of the deceased, as special prayers and recitals were offered in mosques Friday and Sunday.

Large-scale-burials have taken place all this week amid rainy weather that threatened further mudslides.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Updated August 14, 2017 08:42 PM EDT

The death toll from the mudslides and torrential flooding in Sierra Leone rose to 300 late Monday, according to the country's national broadcaster.

The Red Cross estimated that as many as 3,000 people lost their homes in the disaster. That number is expected to rise. Communications and electricity were also affected.

Updated August 14, 2017 12:00 PM EDT

At least 200 people were killed in Monday's mudslides outside Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown.

Sinneh Kamara, a coroner technician at the Connaught Hospital mortuary, said bodies were spread out on the floor of a morgue.

"The capacity at the mortuary is too small for the corpses," Kamara told the Sierra Leone National Broadcasting Corp.

People dug through the mud in search of their loved ones and carted relatives' bodies to the morgue in rice sacks.

Military personnel were deployed to assist in rescue efforts.

A mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown likely killed hundreds of people, Vice President Victor Foh said.

"It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble," Foh told Reuters.

The Red Cross counted 179 bodies at the central morgue. The death toll was expected to rise, Red Cross spokesman Abu Bakarr Tarawallie said.

"The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken," Foh said. "We're trying to cordon the area. Evacuate the people."

Foh said a number of illegal buildings had stood in the mountain town of Regent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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