Sierra Leone mudslides death toll now above 400: United Nations

The government has warned residents to evacuate a mountainside where a large crack has opened. Rainfall remains in the forecast for the coming days, slowing recovery efforts. Thousands of people have lost their homes.

By: AP | Sierra Leone | Published: August 18, 2017 2:17 pm
Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone mudslide, United Nations, UN Sierra Leone mudslide Volunteers prepare graves during a mass funeral for victims of heavy flooding and mudslides in Regent at a cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/ Manika Kamara)

The United Nations says the death toll from Sierra Leone’s mudslides is now above 400. The U.N. humanitarian agency says 409 bodies have been found after flooding and mudslides in the West African nation’s capital of Freetown on Monday morning. Burials have begun as an estimated 600 people remain missing. People continue to search through tons of mud and debris amid the threat of further mudslides.

The government has warned residents to evacuate a mountainside where a large crack has opened. Rainfall remains in the forecast for the coming days, slowing recovery efforts. Thousands of people have lost their homes. Some critics accuse the government of not learning from past disasters.

Many poor areas are near sea level and lack good drainage. The capital also is plagued by unregulated construction.

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