The bodies of 270 people caught in a mudslide in the Sierra Leonean town of Regent, have been recovered by workers. Rescue operations are continuing and the country’s morgues are struggling to keep up with the number of dead being brought in.
The residents of Regent have been asked to evacuate the area to make room for military personnel and so that rescue workers can continue the search for survivors.
Dozens of houses were covered in mud when a mountainside collapsed in Regent, located on the outskirts of Freetown, on the morning of August 14.
“We have a total of 270 corpses which we are now preparing for burial,” Freetown mayor Sam Gibson told reporters.
Sierra Red Cross Society spokesman Abu BakarrTarawallie said he estimated that at least 3,000 people were homeless and in need of shelter, medical assistance and food. The Red Cross said another 600 were missing.
“We are also fearful of outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Freetown. “We can only hope that this does not happen.”
The government has set up rescue centers around Freetown to register and assist the victims.