- The mudslide in Sierra Leone has claimed at least 499 lives
- Hundreds are still missing and thousands have lost their homes
- Survivors share the anguish of losing their loved ones and their property
A massive landslide descended on the Regent area of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, on Monday, August 14.
At least 499 people have lost their lives so far, with hundreds others still missing and over 3,000 more having lost their homes.
Several survivors spoke to the BBC and shared the anguish of losing their loved ones and all their property in the disaster.
Alfred Johnny was looking after his brother’s house when the disaster struck. He lost four of his friends in neighboring houses.
He described the scene: "I froze and watched as the whole hill came down. Heavy stones were slapping the sides of the houses and they were falling. Everywhere people were screaming. I watched until every last house had collapsed."
Yatta Kamara said she lost 14 members of her family. On the fateful night, she had gone to fetch food for her children from her aunt’s place. However, it was too rainy to go back.
The next morning, however, she was horrified to learn of the devastation. She said: "I ran home as fast as I could and saw big crowds of people and the whole area turned to mud. As soon as I saw the damage I knew that my family was gone. I lost everything."
Abdul Mansaray managed to break his house’s ceiling when the torrent of water and mud came in. He then grabbed a ladder that was floating above and managed to get himself, his wife, children and brother out to safety.
15-year-old Mbalu Bangura is worried that her parents may not be able to send her back to school. She said: "How will my parents manage to pay my fees. We lost everything in that house; my books, my uniform, and all my family's money."
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