Kenyan leader mourns mudslide victims in Sierra Leone

Aug 19, 2017, 06:51
Kenyan leader mourns mudslide victims in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's presidential spokesperson, Abdulai Baraytay said the situation on the ground was critical when he spoke to Citi FM a day after the mass burials for the dead.

President Ernest Bai Koroma joined mourners for burials on Thursday.

Dr. Owiss Koroma, the government's chief pathologist, said the confirmed death toll from the mudslide and flooding was at least 350, a third of them children.

Those that can be identified are being returned to loved ones for burial, but others too badly decomposed have been taken to a cemetery where Ebola victims were laid to rest in 2014 and 2015. More than 2,000 victims of the disaster have become homeless, and several houses and properties damaged by the disaster.

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The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday said that more than 400 people had lost their lives in the mudslides that had occurred on August 14 and that several hundred people were still missing, meaning that the death toll could still increase. "The urgent needs are around shelter, safe water, food and re-establishing proper sanitation to avoid any risk of disease spreading".

"There is a fear that more trouble is imminent", in Freetown, a coastal city of around one million people, said Adbul Nasir of the International Red Cross.

According to United Nations estimates, more than 600 people are still unaccounted for following the mudslides, and a representative said Wednesday the organization is losing hope they will be found.

The force says it is working on the theory that the Cambrils suspects were linked to the Barcelona attack, as well as to a Wednesday night explosion in the town of Alcanar in which one person was killed. Health officials at Sierra Leone's Connaught Hospital said over 400 corpses had been collected from the rubble as a rescue mission continues.

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According to a release from the PNP today, it is extending hands of friendship and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone as they put their lives back together.

Sierra Leone has pleaded for global assistance, while Amnesty worldwide issued a statement accusing the government of failing to learn from similar incidents.

"The rains are still pending and there is a possibility that we will have another incident", he said.

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