Threat looms of more mudslides in Sierra Leone

Mass Burials Begin in Sierra Leone After Massive Mudslides

Queen Elizabeth II has expressed her sadness over flooding and mudslides in Sierra Leone that have killed more than 300 people.

"We can not wait for tomorrow for the burial, as was suggested by government, because most of the bodies are decomposing", he said.

The items, comprising food, medicines, clothing and logistics for temporary shelter, are to be airlifted to the West African country, the Ministry of Information said in a statement copied to Xinhua.

Responding to the crisis that began on Monday will require "a combination of efforts from all people", he added.

The Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link has launched a disaster recovery appeal after severe flash flooding hit this week.

President Gnassingbe lamented the fact that Sierra Leone was engrossed in massive infrastructural development when Ebola struck a few years back which, he said, derailed the country's developmental aspirations.

President Ernest Bai Koroma was accompanied by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whose nation also lost thousands to Ebola, both wearing surgical masks as the decomposing bodies were put into the ground.

The Red Cross has reported that some 600 persons are still missing. My heart goes out to the people of Sierra Leone.

A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rain, leaving many houses covered in mud.

UNICEF called the scale of damage from the mudslides "unprecedented" and said its teams have been providing safe drinking water and sanitation to the large number of children affected by the disaster.

Aid workers said there was a high risk of disease outbreaks such as cholera, as corpses are lying out in the open in the heat. The capital also is plagued by unregulated construction. "We would rather have structures falling down without people in them".

In Pentagon, the community directly below Regent where rocks and mud rained down on homes on Monday, resident Tamba James said the future looked bleak.

The government has said that in the light of the catastrophe, relocation and a new settlement around the Freetown peninsula would be considered, but similar measures have failed in the past as people seek to live close to the city centre for work.

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