Hundreds likely dead in Sierra Leone mudslide

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 14, 2017 7:05 AM

FREETOWN (Reuters) - Hundreds of people have likely been killed in a mudslide on Monday in the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital, Vice President Victor Foh said.

"It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble," Foh told Reuters at the scene of the mudslide in the mountain town of Regent, adding that a number of illegal buildings had been erected in the area.

"The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken," he added. "We're trying to cordon (off) the area (and) evacuate the people."

People cried as they looked at the damage under steady rain, gesturing toward a muddy hillside where dozens of houses used to stand, a Reuters witness said.

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

(Reporting by Umaru Fofana, Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Alison Williams)