FREETOWN (Reuters) - At least four people were killed and scores injured following torrential rains in Sierra Leone's capital on Wednesday, according to the West African country's head of Disaster Management, Mary Mye-Kamara.
Amid warnings the heavy rains would last for at six days, President Ernest Bai Koroma held emergency talks with his defense and security chiefs.
The government deployed soldiers and police to rescue people left homeless by the flooding. Authorities urged all non-essential workers to stay home on Thursday.
"The flooding has devastated many settlements,” said a statement from State House, without providing further details.
The national football stadium in Freetown will be adapted to shelter those rendered homeless by the rains, authorities said.
Doctors at Freetown's main referral hospital, Connaught, said they were overwhelmed with patients.
“I have lost everything I worked for all my life,” said Kadiatu, a resident of Freetown’s largest slum, Kroo Bay.
Scooping water from her flooded home, she said authorities “see our plight every year and make only empty promises”.
In Kroo Bay's primary school, a Reuters reporter observed pupils left standing waist-deep in water, shivering, with nowhere to go to as their homes had also been flooded.
(Reporting by Umaru Fofana; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Tom Brown)