Hundreds of bodies have been recovered from a mudslide in the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.
Heavy rains and flooding early on Monday morning led to the collapse of a mountainside in the town of Regent on Monday – burying dozens of houses.
Almost 400 bodies have been recovered, as the search & rescue operation continues.
The chief coroner, Seneh Dumbuya, said he expected the death toll would rise to more than 500.
Picture by: Manika Kamara/AP/Press Association Images
Concerns have also been raised that there could be further heavy rain in the area in the coming hours and days.
A mass burial is due to take place in an effort to free up space in the central morgue.
According to Oxfam, an estimated 3,000 people have been left homeless after the deadly mudslide.
Mud and water flow in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 14-08-2017. Image: Xinhua/Kerefala Janneh
The country’s president Ernest Bai Koroma has called on the residents of Regent and other flooded areas to evacuate immediately so that rescues workers can continue the search for survivors.
He said that rescue centres have been set up around the capital to assist victims.
Many of the poorer areas around Freetown have poor drainage systems and are situated close to sea level. As a result they particularly susceptible to flooding disasters during the West African rainy season.
We're helping children and families affected by the flooding and mud slides in Freetown, working in support of the Government with partners. pic.twitter.com/TdSKmIx9g6
— UNICEF Sierra Leone (@UNICEFSL) August 14, 2017
Additional reporting by IRN