Hundreds of bodies recovered from Sierra Leone mudslide

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Rescue teams in Sierra Leone searched for missing people in the town of Regent on Tuesday, a day after floods and mudslides devastated Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown and the surrounding areas.

A mudslide killed more than 200 people on the outskirts of Freetown on Monday, sweeping away homes and leaving residents desperate for news of missing family members.

Police and military personnel were at the scene in the mountain town of Regent searching for people trapped in the debris. An excavator ploughed away at the mountainside and ambulances rushed back and forth to the city centre with bodies and the wounded, but rescue efforts were hampered by bad roads and the weather, a Reuters witness said.

The Red Cross said at least 205 bodies had been taken to the central morgue in Freetown.

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