Pope prays for victims, rescue workers of Sierra Leone mudslide

Israel Sending Aid to Sierra Leone Following Deadly Flooding and Landslide

Sierra Leone: At Least 400 Dead, 600 Missing As Week Of Mourning For Mudslide Victims Begins

Sierra Leone's presidential spokesperson Abdulai Bayraytay said Wednesday that the country is in dire need of food, water, clothing, accommodation and medical supplies for the thousands of people left homeless by the devastating floods and mudslide that hit an area on the outskirts of capital city Freetown on Monday.

"Prince Philip and I were deeply saddened to learn of the bad flooding and landslides in Freetown that have led to the deaths of so many people", Queen Elizabeth wrote in a message to the president of Sierra Leone.

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has commiserated with the first lady of Sierra Leone, Mrs Sia Koroma over the unfortunate mudslide that killed over 300 people in Sierra Leone.

Gaston Slanwa, Tearfund's Country Representative for Sierra Leone said: "I drove around Freetown yesterday".

"Mother, father, sisters, brothers, cousins all gone".

For the thousands of survivors left homeless, United Nations agencies distributed food and hygiene kits to those sheltering in government centres and in the homes of neighbours and family members.

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About 400 bodies have been uncovered so far, but that number is likely soon to surpass 500 as the search continues, Freetown's chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya said on Tuesday.

Part of Mount Sugar Loaf, where Regent is located, collapsed Monday following torrential rains, submerging houses and sweeping away others, many of which were makeshift settlements.

Bodies have begun washing up on a beach in Freetown.

Bodies have continued to be retrieved from the mud and rubble, but efforts to identify them are proving hard in the chaos.

President Ernest Bai Koroma has declared seven days of mourning while pleading for "urgent support".

At the city's overwhelmed Connaught Hospital morgue, many bodies have been too mangled and decomposed to be identified.

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The mass burial, initially planned for Wednesday, was postponed for a day to allow families to identify their loved ones. Many victims were trapped under tons of mud as they slept.

Amid the chaos of rescue efforts, the government has said contingency plans were being put in place to try to stem the outbreak of diseases such as cholera.

Sierra Leone has pleaded for worldwide assistance as it reels from yet another disaster just a couple of years after the Ebola outbreak that left thousands in the region dead.

Radio journalist Gibril Sesay said he lost his entire family.

Freetown also is plagued by unregulated construction of large residential houses in hilltop areas. Greater than 3,000 men and women have been left houseless and in the immediate requirement of health care, shelter, and food, while another 600 are missing, the #Sierra Leone Red Cross Society said.

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