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Sierra Leone: over 300 dead in Freetown after floods, mudslides; Alfano, Italy stands with capital hit by disaster

FREETOWN, AUGUST 14 – Hundreds of people have been killed in a mudslide near Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, the Red Cross says. A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rains, leaving many houses covered in mud.

A BBC reporter at the scene said that many people may have been asleep when the mudslide occurred. Sierra Leone’s Vice-President Victor Bockarie Foh said it was “likely that hundreds are lying dead”. The number of casualties is expected to rise.

In Rome the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano ,expressed solidarity after the floods: “Our hearts and minds are with the Goverment and people of Sierra Leone”, Alfano said on Twitter.

Casualties are rising: over 300 people, among them 60 children, may have lost their lives. The worst-hit area is thought to be the Regent district on the outskirts of Freetown, where dozens of houses were submerged when the hillside collapsed. Hundreds of people are likely to be left homeless following the mudslide.

A Sierra Leonean disaster management official, Candy Rogers, said that “over 2,000 people lost their houses” as a result of the mudslide in the Regent area, AFP reports. (@OnuItalia)

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