Nearly 500 People Dead Due To Mudslides And Flooding In Sierra Leone

A sad, sad scene.

Photo Credit: Photo: Toronto Star

| August 21 2017,

3:24 pm

According to CBS News, nearly 500 bodies have been found in Sierra Leone. 600 people are missing, and the death toll is at 461. Civilians are warned that the chances of finding survivors continue to decrease. Men, women, and children have all been found.

"The magnitude of the destruction as a result of the disaster is such that the number of victims in the community who may not come out alive may likely exceed the number of dead bodies already recovered," said Charles Mambu said Tuesday. Mambu is a civil society activist and resident of one affected area, Mount Sugar Loaf.

Many bodies were found mutilated, often missing limbs, making proper burial essential to keep the rise of disease from happening. Large-scale-burials have taken place all this week amid rainy weather that threatened further mudslides. Churches across Sierra Leone held special services Sunday in memory of those killed.

Many water sources have been contaminated and officials fear an outbreak of waterborne diseases. 

"I have never seen anything like it," said Abdul Nasir, program coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "A river of mud came out of nowhere and swallowed entire communities, just wiped them away. We are racing against time, more flooding and the risk of disease to help these affected communities survive and cope with their loss." 

Many of the impoverished areas of Sierra Leone's capital are close to sea level and have poor drainage systems, exacerbating flooding during the rainy season. Freetown also is plagued by unregulated building of large residential houses in hilltop areas.

Foreign aid from the rest of the world is being sent to Freetown, the nation's capital. And right now, they can use all the aid they can get. This is such a gut-wrenching tragedy that one can't help but wonder why we aren't hearing more about it. Why isn't more being done? Nearly 500 lives have been lost.

Charlottesville was horrible, Barcelona too. These tragedies have been widely covered. Yet, Sierra Leone needs the world's help and we're barely hearing about it. Despite lack of coverage from the mainstream media, we must keep our African brothers and sisters in our thoughts and prayers doing what we can to help. Global Giving is one website you can use to help. So far they have only raised $30,000 of their $500,000 goal. If you can be a blessing, do. 


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