Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Hundreds Killed in Sierra Leone Mudslide

by Associated Press /
This picture shows flooded streets in Regent near Freetown, on Aug. 14, 2017. The death toll from massive flooding in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown climbed to 312, the local Red Cross told AFP. Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP the toll could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas in Freetown, where heavy rains have caused homes to disappear under water and triggered a mudslide.AFP - Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed when a mudslide struck the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital on Monday, Vice President Victor Foh said.

The Red Cross put the number of bodies so far at the central morgue in the capital, Freetown, at 179.

Earlier, an official at the morgue at Connaught Hospital in Freetown said it had received 70 bodies and police and soldiers were bringing in more.

Flooded streets in Regent near Freetown, on Aug. 14, 2017. AFP - Getty Images

The death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered, Red Cross spokesman Abu Bakarr Tarawallie said.

"It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble," Foh said the mountain town of Regent. He said a number of illegal buildings had been erected in the area.

"The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken," he said. "We're trying to cordon the area. Evacuate the people."

Mudslides and floods are fairly common during the rainy season in West Africa, where deforestation and poor town planning has put residents at risk.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.