Rescue workers have recovered 270 bodies so far from a mudslide in the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, the mayor said on Tuesday.
Freetown mayor, Sam Gibson, told reporters that rescue operations continue in the town of Regent where the mudslide happened on Monday morning.
Vice President of Sierra Leone Victor Foh said on Monday that it was likely that hundreds were lying dead underneath the rubble.
Mr. Foh told Reuters at the scene of the mudslide in the mountain town of Regent that a number of illegal buildings had been erected in the area.
“The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken,” he added.
“We’re trying to cordon (off) the area (and) evacuate the people.”
The mudslide happened in the early morning in Regent, where dozens of houses were submerged after a night of heavy rain.
A major rescue operation is now underway although emergency workers are struggling to reach the worst-affected areas.
Mudslides and floods are fairly common during the rainy season in West Africa, where deforestation and poor town planning put residents at risk.