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Natural Disaster Kills 7, Displaces Dozens In Sierra Leone

Persons and structures caught in the Freetown flood on 28thAugust 2022
(Photo: Sierraloaded)

By Landing Ceesay

Floods, infrastructure collapse, and mudslide have killed 7 people and displaced dozens in Freetown amid continuous downpour on Sunday, Sierra Leone National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) said in a dispatch. 

“At the Looking Town Community, NDMA in collaboration with the National Fire Force (NFF), the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), CARITAS, the Freetown City Council (FCC), the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary School Education (MBSSE), and the community people were able to recover six (6) dead bodies which include four (4) male adults, one (1) girl child and one (1) female adult,” Sierra Leone NDMA said on Sunday

The torrential rain experienced has led to the loss of lives and the destruction of properties in various disaster-prone communities in Freetown; and the downpour is expected to continue according to the weather forecast by the Metrological Agency of the West African country, according to the NDMA dispatch.

“The National Disaster Management Agency also received a report of a fence that collapsed on a house beneath it resulting in a fatality of an 18 years old man at Mount Aureol, and the deceased has been conveyed to the Connaught Mortuary and residents are advised to relocate to safer areas,” the dispatch dated 28th August 2022 added.

It stated that the NDMA in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has taken the corpses to the Connaught hospital mortuary and currently providing treatment for injured victims from other disaster-affected communities

The dispatch further said that at the Culvert Community, the NDMA team observed that the entire community flooded, displacing a large proportion of residents including children, women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities; adding that eleven evacuation points have been identified close to the community for relocation of the affected population.

The team on Bai Bureh Road, by Bomeh Landfill, observed that a large tree has fallen across the road preventing vehicular movement and posed threat to pedestrians; but the Sierra Leone Road Authority and RSLAF’s engineers are working on clearing it to free up traffic, the statement said. 

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) said it has visited various scenes to ascertain the severity of the reported incidents within Freetown; and advised residents who were deemed to be residing in high-risk areas to relocate to safer areas. 

“Thus, the NDMA is continuously advising members of the public living in low-lying areas to move to high grounds, those living on hilltops should stop throwing waste into drainages, and parents should ensure their children avoid walking in the rain and avoid drainages and willingly evacuate if told to do so. The public is also advised to turn off their electrical appliances when raining and listen to weather updates regularly from NDMA and SL Met,” the agency concluded.

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