Rescuers resume grim search for dead in flooded Freetown

But as officials spoke of entire communities washed away in mudslides, rescue efforts were hampered by a lack of equipment and the challenges posed the search and excavation work.

Rescuers resume grim search for dead in flooded Freetown

World Bulletin / News Desk

Rescue workers pulled more bodies from destroyed houses and muddy pools in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on Tuesday, where more than 300 people have died in flooding and mudslides.

The government has promised relief to the more than 3,000 people left homeless, opening an emergency response centre in the hilltop community of Regent. Israel and Britain said they were sending aid as quickly as possible to the stricken west African city.

Registration centres to count the homeless opened across Freetown, a city of around one million people, while Interior Minister Paolo Conteh told Sierra Leone's state broadcaster that thousands of people remained missing.

Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP on Monday that while the death toll was 312, this was expected to rise as his team assessed disaster areas in Freetown.

Another Red Cross official, Abu Bakarr Tarrawallie, put the death toll at 245 in an email to AFP on Tuesday, while local media and officials all gave different tolls.

"There is a challenge of expertise in search and excavation and inadequate machines to excavate the submerged houses," Tarawallie told AFP. "Registration of affected people is ongoing now to ascertain total number of affected people later on."

Survivors required "immediate" shelter, medical and food assistance, he added, and dozens of injured people were receiving treatment.

Abdul Nasir, programme coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), earlier said entire communities "seem to have been washed away and whatever is left is covered in mud".World Bulletin / News Desk

Last Mod: 15 Ağustos 2017, 15:07
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