Nearly 500 Deaths Have Resulted from Fatal Sierra Leone Mudslides and Flooding

CBS News reports that more than 600 people are still missing and nearly 500 people are dead as a result of the mudslides and flooding that occurred last week in Sierra Leone. Hospital officials have announced a death toll of 461, up steadily from the death toll that originally stood at 450. Officials are also warning the public of the increasing unlikelihood of finding many survivors of the missing people that still remain.

Of the people that have been found after the catastrophic natural disaster, survivors have included women, men, and children. “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,” Charles Mambu, a civil activist and resident of Mount Sugar Loaf, Sierra Leone had to say Tuesday (June 15) in a statement.

According to CBS News, large-scale burials have begun to take place this week during rainy weather that could very well prove to be a threat for further mudslides. However, burials are essential to containing the risk for disease as a lot of bodies have been found mutilated with missing limbs.

Program coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Abdul Nasir, recalled a memory of the event, “I have never seen anything like it. 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.”

So far, foreign aid from the rest of the world is being sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital. If you want to do your part, Global Giving is a place that you can do just that. The organization has raised $31,723 of their $500,000 overall goal for the Sierra Leone Mudslide Relief Fund.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our African brothers and sisters.

Photo Credit: Global Giving

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.