Pope prays for victims, rescue workers of Sierra Leone mudslide

Freetown the capital city of Sierra Leone

Freetown the capital city of Sierra Leone

At the city's Connaught Hospital morgue, firefighters, military personnel, police and volunteers tried to help grieving survivors with the hard process of finding their dead relatives, many too mangled and decomposed to be identified.

On Wednesday, rescue teams continued to dig out survivors and dispose of bodies.

FREETOWN | Still traumatized by the hundreds of deaths, including more than 100 children after the floods and landslides that have affected Freetown, the authorities in sierra leone redoubled effort on Wednesday to regain some 600 people still missing.

On the 14th of August 2017, massive mudslides and floods have affected Freetown in Sierra Leone, the worst-hit area is thought to be the Regent district where dozens of houses were submerged when the hillside collapsed.

The country's President Ernest Bai Koroma visited Israel in January. Many clutched photos in the desperate hope that they would be among those fortunate enough to find their loved ones and give them a proper burial. He called for seven days of mourning starting Wednesday.

"The present condition of my daughter is nothing good to talk about", he said.

Deeply saddened by the devastating consequences of the mudslide on the outskirts of Freetown, His Holiness Pope Francis assures those who have lost loved ones of his closeness at this hard time. So, they can recuperate and move ahead. While some families have identified some of the dead, officials are planning to begin mass burials Thursday.

The mudslide and rain overwhelmed Freetown's drainage system, creating waterways that churned down steep streets across the capital.

Aid organizations have warned that the rainy season was not yet over and that the city could witness more flooding.

The UN said it was evaluating humanitarian needs in the country and that "contingency plans are being put in place to mitigate any potential outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea", according to spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Freetown also is plagued by unregulated construction of large residential houses in hilltop areas.

The Red Cross is struggling to excavate families buried deep in the mud that engulfed their homes. Three other relatives have already been confirmed dead. "But I believe it's the work of God because I don't know where the strength and power came from to get us out".

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