Mass burials begin for 300 Sierra Leone flood victims

Mass burials begin for 300 Sierra Leone flood victims

Mass burials begin for 300 Sierra Leone flood victims

The head of the Red Cross organization that focuses on natural disasters is predicting that the death toll will rise from flooding and mudslides in Sierra Leone's capital.

"The scale of the damage is unprecedented", said UN Children's Fund UNICEF Representative Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim, noting that at least 109 children were among the several hundred people killed in the disaster that struck on Monday.

Mr Benjamin Abanqua, the Director of Operations of Letap Pharmaceuticals, said the organisation deemed it necessary to support "our friends of Sierra Leone in this unfortunate incidence".

Ahead of his trip, the government will airlift relief items to Sierre Leone later today [Friday].

Zuliatu Cooper, the deputy minister of health and sanitation, said the government's main focus right now is getting people away from areas still under threat. The Office of National Security warned people of the danger from the newly opened crack on the side of a mountain and urged residents to evacuate. The capital also is plagued by unregulated construction in hilltop areas.

President of the ECOWAS Commission De Souza also expressed sympathy and sentiments of support towards government's emergency response for the victims of the flooding and deadly mudslide.

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With more rain forecast for the coming week, further mudslides were a threat.

Jalloh and her surviving family members are among them. An estimated 1,600 families have been affected and need humanitarian assistance.

The displaced are still sleeping outside "because there are not enough shelters for everybody", he said.

UNICEF called the damage "unprecedented" on Thursday and warned children were at risk, while the United Nations humanitarian affairs office said four registration centres for unaccompanied minors had been established.

Identifying deficiencies in waste management, preventing deforestation, urban planning and the provision of decent housing, Hitchen said "a problem of politics" meant that the city's drains were blocked and dump sites were full.

Sierra Leone, a former British colony, meanwhile received condolences from Queen Elizabeth II, who said she was "deeply saddened".

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