Sierra Leone mudslide: hundreds feared dead in disaster near Freetown

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Hundreds of people are feared dead and others remain trapped following a mudslide in Sierra Leone.

A hillside in Regent area, near the country’s capital, Freetown, collapsed early on Monday after heavy rain, leaving many houses covered in mud.

The number of casualties was not immediately clear but Sierra Leone’s Vice-President Victor Bockarie Foh said it was “likely that hundreds are lying dead”.

Officials said the area was cordoned off as people were being evacuated.

Mudslide: According to officials, the area was cordoned off while people were evacuated (@scccsierraleone)

Emergency services were at the scene attempting to rescue people trapped in their homes after a section of the hill collapsed, according to local media.

Dramatic images posted online show people wading through waist-deep water following the downpour.

“The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken,” Mr Foh added. “We’re trying to cordon [off] the area [and] evacuate the people.”

Flooding is an annual threat to the country, where housing is regularly swept away by torrential rain.

The capital city flooded in 2015, killing 10 people and leaving thousands homeless.

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