At least 300 have been killed after a mudslide (pictured) sparked by heavy rain crashed through part of Sierra Leone's capital
At least 300 have been killed and 2,000 left homeless after a mudslide sparked by heavy rain crashed through part of Sierra Leone's capital.

Homes were swept away in Regent, in the outskirts of Freetown, while roads turned into rampaging rivers as the mudslide struck.

Relatives dug through the mud in search of their loved ones and a morgue overflowed with bodies after heavy rains and flooding.

Shocking pictures on social media have emerged online showing bodies piled up in the mud and people wading through mud.




The mudslide came crashing down a mountain side amid torrential heavy rain in the area

Local media reports also said that a section of a hill in the Regent area of the city had partially collapsed. Pictures showed people wading through deep water and cars submerged in the flooding
Bodies were spread out on the floor of a morgue, Sinneh Kamara, a coroner technician at the Connaught Hospital mortuary, told the national broadcaster.

'The capacity at the mortuary is too small for the corpses,' he told the Sierra Leone National Broadcasting Corp.

Kamara urged the health department to deploy more ambulances, saying his mortuary only has four.

Sierra Leone's national television broadcaster interrupted its regular programming to show scenes of people trying to retrieve their loved ones' bodies. Others were seen carting relatives' remains in rice sacks to the morgue.


Homes were swept away in Regent, in the outskirts of Freetown, while roads turned into rampaging rivers as the mudslide struck


Military personnel have been deployed to help in the rescue operation currently ongoing, officials said

Military personnel have been deployed to help in the rescue operation currently ongoing, officials said.

Many of the impoverished areas of Sierra Leone's capital are close to sea level and have poor drainage systems, exacerbating flooding during the West African country's rainy season.

Vice President Victor Foh said: 'It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble.

'The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken,' he added. 'We're trying to cordon (off) the area (and) evacuate the people.'

People cried as they looked at the damage under steady rain, gesturing toward a muddy hillside where dozens of houses used to stand, a Reuters witness said.


Videos posted by local residents showed people waist and chest deep in water trying to traverse the road
Images obtained by AFP showed a ferocious churning of dark orange mud coursing down a steep street, while videos posted by local residents showed people waist and chest deep in water trying to traverse the road.

Other images showed battered corpses piled on top of each other, as residents struggled to cope with the destruction.

Local media reports also said that a section of a hill in the Regent area of the city had partially collapsed.

Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of 1.2 million, is hit annually by flooding during several months of rain that destroys makeshift settlements and raises the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Flooding in the capital in 2015 killed 10 people and left thousands homeless.

Sierra Leone was one of the west African nations hit by an outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014 that left more than 4,000 people dead in the country, and it has struggled to revive its economy since the crisis.

About 60 percent of people in Sierra Leone live below the national poverty line, according to the United Nations Development Programme.