Death toll in Sierra Leone mudslide rises to 400


People inspect the damage at the mudslide site on Tuesday afternoon. Sierra Leone's President Ernest ...
People inspect the damage at the mudslide site on Tuesday afternoon. Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has declared seven days of mourning across the country, with immediate effect.

By Thursday, at least 400 people have been killed and 600 others are missing in a devastating mudslide that happened on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown on Monday.

According to sources, more than 3,000 people have lost their homes in the mudslide and the local people are in desperate need of medical resources to help the injured ones and prevent possible disease outbreaks after the disaster.

“Monday morning, we just saw this just cut off and covered thousands of people. The most populated area in this community is there. There are a lot of people there who have lost their lives. We started work on the scene from Monday. Up till now, no medical care, no good. We are sad, we need help,” said a local resident.

After the disaster, Chinese companies operating in the country, at the request of local government, immediately sent out rescue teams to help victims.

“We have worked over 11 hours in the past four days, and we have excavated earth of nearly 10,000 cubic meters. Local residents praised our efforts,” said Wang Bo, a representative from a Chinese company.

On Wednesday, Chinese companies also donated cash totaling more than 100,000 U.S. dollars, five tonnes of rice, 25 boxes of medicine and other items to the government of Sierra Leone.

In addition, according to the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, the Chinese government had decided to provide emergency humanitarian aid of one million U.S. dollars to the Sierra Leonean government. Chinese medical teams in Sierra Leone are working to prevent possible disease outbreaks.

Local residents are grateful for the Chinese assistance.

“Actually concerning the incident, as you can see we are all very sad right now, it is not really easy for us you know. We have lost our loved ones and now we are in the field, you know trying our best to get the corpse out. So, for the Chinese government to make such a donation, we want to say first of all, a big thanks to all the Chinese people and the Chinese government,” said a local resident.

He added, “When you are looking at Sierra Leone, most of what we have seen as development, you know, are being funded by the Chinese government in collaboration with our Sierra Leone government, so I want to commend their efforts and thank them very much.”

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