As at press time, 500 people have died in the devastating mudslides and flooding in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone with at least 600 missing, according to the Red Cross.
The catastrophe started when heavy rains hit the town and the partial collapse of Sugar Loaf mountain triggered mudslides, engulfing properties and wreaking destruction.
Homes in the hilltop community of Regent were covered while victims were asleep in bed.
About 3,000 people are said to be homeless in what is being described as a humanitarian emergency. There is also growing concern about the risk to public health from water-borne diseases.
The secretary-general of the Worldwide Federation of Purple Cross and Purple Crescent societies, Elhadj As Sy in Geneva said that Sierra Leone government was going through a disaster “method past (its) capability” and appealed to the worldwide neighborhood to considerably ramp up its assist.
China has pledged $1 million, Togo $500,000, and Israel and several other West African nations have contributed meals and money.
Meanwhile, the EU has pledged 300,000 euros which “would go to humanitarian organisations to ensure it reached those most in need.”
Britain also gave £5 million in funding for a number of charities engaged on the bottom, concentrating on youngsters’ bedding and clothes and clear water and sanitation for all survivors, in addition to medical provides. The country’s Worldwide Growth Secretary Priti Patel has requested other countries to step up and help.
The first mass burial of 300 victims, attended by President Ernest Bai Koroma took place at the burial site in the city of Waterloo. President Ernest Bai Koroma attended a multi-faith memorial service at the burial site in the city of Waterloo. A third of these are youngsters and were buried next to the victims of the Ebola virus.
Those buried so far, according to Freetown’s chief pathologist, Dr Simeon Owizz Koroma, were people who had been identified or whose bodies were badly decomposed.
President Koroma, who has visited the stricken area, said “entire communities have been wiped out” and called on the international community to provide “urgent support”.