Sierra Leone: Mudslides - Aug 2017
Three days of heavy rains triggered flash floods and a massive landslide in and around the capital Freetown on 14 August. The most severe disaster occurred in Regent and Lumley districts with a massive 6 kilometres mudslide submerging and wiping out over 300 houses along the banks of the Juba river. Flash floods also affected at least four other communities in other parts of Freetown.(OCHA, 15 Aug 2017)
The IFRC has...released more than [CHF]270,000...from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to bolster initial search and rescue and recovery efforts. These emergency funds will enable volunteers to assist more than 9,000 people with search and rescue, first aid, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion and emergency food. (IFRC, 15 Aug 2017)
At least 500 bodies have been recovered. However, several hundreds are still missing, An estimated 5,900 or more people are believed to have lost their homes or have been directly impacted and are in immediate need of emergency assistance and shelter. Nine response pillars are coordinating their response efforts with the Office of National Security who has the overall lead. Humanitarian partners are providing emergency WASH, health, shelter and protection assistance to those in temporary holding centres and those in host families. (OCHA/UNORC, 22 Aug 2017)
On the night between...26 [and] 27 August, new flooding appeared in downtown Freetown, and has flooded a health centre, the bridge and a school at Kroo Bay. One person is reported dead and two injured. The WHO team has assessed the damage to Kroo Bay Health Facility where flooding waters destroyed health records, drugs and supplies, mosquito net stock piles and medical equipment. (OCHA/UNORC, 29 Aug 2017)
As of 31 August, the total number of confirmed deaths is slightly above 500 and the number of missing persons at 810. With 616 households (93 percent) verified, the results show that a total of 5,951 people reported being affected by the mudslide and floods, of which 969 are children under the age of five and 393 are pregnant and nursing women. (UNDAC/UNORC, 31 Aug 2017)
As of 5 September, the distributions of food and non-food items have reached over 85% of flood and landslide affected people. (UNDAC/UNORC, 5 Sep 2017)
Following emergency response to the landslide and floods in and around Freetown on 14 August 2017, the UN system in Sierra Leone is now supporting national recovery. The UN Country Team has designated UNDP and the World Bank as co-leads of the effort. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has underscored that a national recovery strategy should address both the needs of those directly affected, and a plan to tackle the longer-term issues including environmental; climate and disaster risks; and settlement and urban development. (UNDP/UNORC, 12 Sep 2017)
Sierra Leone’s first ever Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign kicked off on 15 September. The emergency campaign targets communities affected by Western Area’s recent floods and landslides. WHO, UNICEF, Gavi, UKaid, MSF and other health partners are working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to implement the campaign, which aims to reach a total of 500,000 people. (Gov't of Sierra Leone/UNICEF/WHO, 15 Sep 2017)
As of 10 October, the UN system in Sierra Leone continues to support national recovery. In addition to addressing the urgent needs of those most affected, medium and long-term assessments and action plans have been put in place under national leadership to ensure risk mitigation and protect the people of Sierra Leone from future tragedy. (UNDP/UNORC, 10 Oct 2017)
Terror attack kills at least 18 people
On 13 August, gunmen stormed a restaurant in the capital Ouagadougou and killed 18 people, and wounding 22 others, according to the government. Two attackers were killed. A similar attack on a nearby cafe in January 2016 killed 30 people.
Christian Aid is working alongside other non-governmental agencies in Sierra Leone to coordinate its response to the flooding and mudslides that have killed nearly 400 people in the capital city, Freetown.
Christian Aid’s programme team in Sierra Leone have been urgently assessing the needs of communities, after heavy seasonal rains triggered a deluge of mud and debris in the city’s Regent neighbourhood.
An estimated 3,000 people have lost their homes, while at least 600 individuals are still missing, according to authorities. Rescue efforts are continuing.
Rains in Freetown started on Sunday 13 August and have continued since. At least 400 people, including at least 60 children, were killed following the collapse of a hillside in the Regent area near the capital, in Greater Freetown early on Monday morning, as many people were asleep. Since 1 July, Freetown has received triple the usual amount of rain. Most affected areas are within an area known as Regent. Three other communities were inundated, at Lumley in the west of Freetown as well as Kissy Brook and Dworzak Farm.
Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Sierra Leone
Date of Charter Activation: 15 August 2017
Time of Charter Activation: 11:28:00
Time zone of Charter Activation: UTC+02:00
Charter Requestor: UNOOSA on behalf of FAO Sierra Leone Office and UN Country Team
Description of the event
Heavy rain has caused floods and mudslides in Sierra Leone, leaving over 300 dead.
Geneva – After learning Monday of devastating floods that left hundreds dead in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, immediately released USD 150,000 in emergency, first-response aid relief.
“IOM is ready to work with Sierra Leone’s government in any capacity it can, to respond to this terrible event,” said Director General William Lacy Swing Tuesday morning from IOM headquarters in Geneva.
Oxfam is providing clean water and hygiene kits to survivors of yesterday’s mudslide on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The international agency initially plans to help almost 2,000 households amidst concerns that continued heavy rains, overcrowding and inadequate water and sanitation systems will leave people extremely vulnerable to outbreaks of cholera and other diseases.
Torrential rains have led to a series of significant floods and mudslides on 14 August in several areas of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Emergency support is being provided for the two different types of responses: floods and mudslides.
According to Freetown Mayor, rescue workers have recovered 270 bodies so far, mainly from the Regent neighborhood where the mudslide happened. As rescue operations are still ongoing, the death toll is expected to rise.
Red Cross staff and volunteers are frantically working alongside emergency officials to rescue survivors and assist desperate communities that have lost their homes and loved ones in yesterday’s mudslides in and around the capital Freetown.
The most severe mudslides – triggered by three days of heavy rains – occurred yesterday in the coastal suburb of Racecourse on the city’s eastern edge, as well as in Regent and Lumley where thousands of makeshift settlements are home to the city’s poorest communities.
The hunt for survivors of a devastating mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital has continued, with 270 bodies recovered so far, according to the mayor of Freetown.
A mass burial will be held later today to free up space in the city’s central morgue, which has been overwhelmed with bodies.
A national emergency has been called after the city suffered heavy flooding, thought to be the worst in Africa over the past two decades. The country’s interior minister, Paolo Conteh, warned that thousands of people were still missing.
- Heavy rainfall in Regent area, Freetown, has caused important floods and landslides. At present, 312 people are reported killed and at least 2 000 have lost their home.
- Body management is a challenge at this point. Needs assessments are hampered by lack of access for the time being. Needs are expected as regards water, hygiene and sanitation and shelter. The situation is being monitored by DG ECHO. Authorities has so far not requested assistance.
Freetown, Sierra Leone – IsraAID staff in Sierra Leone will support displaced flood survivors with food and essential items, clean water and sanitation solutions and psychological assistance and stress relief.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (August 14, 2017)— Dozens of children are likely to be among the hundreds of casualties in a devastating mudslide in Sierra Leone that buried houses and trapped families in their homes, Save the Children has warned.
The government of Sierra Leone is currently leading a search and rescue effort in the wake of the tragedy that struck near the capital Freetown early on Monday morning. Save the Children is assessing the situation and preparing to respond if required.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is saddened by the deaths and devastation caused by the mudslide and flooding in the town of Regent, Sierra Leone, and throughout Freetown.
The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the people and Government of Sierra Leone for the loss of life and destruction caused by this natural disaster.
Red Cross volunteers are digging for survivors and supporting distraught families in the wake of heavy flooding and mudslides that have ripped through Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown.
Current estimates indicate that as many as 3,000 have been made homeless, although this figure is expected to rise as the picture becomes clearer.
Abdul Nasir, the Programme Coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has been working alongside these teams, and has described the devastation:
August 14, 2017
It is with deep shock that the chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, has learnt of the catastrophic mudslides that killed more than 300 people and left hundreds more destitute on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones. The entire AU family stands united with the people and government of Sierra Leone during this difficult time," said the Chairperson."
Several hundred people are reported dead with many more missing after a devastating series of mudslides and floods ripped through communities in and around Sierra Leone’s capital city of Freetown. The country’s vice president told news organizations that hundreds of people could be lying dead underneath the rubble, and search and rescue efforts are continuing. Thousands are estimated to be homeless after the storm inundated densely populated hillsides.
"The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken"
By Christo Johnson
FREETOWN, Aug 14 (Reuters) - More than 200 people were killed when a mudslide struck the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on Monday, sweeping away homes.
The Red Cross said at least 205 bodies had been taken to the central morgue in Freetown. Police and military personnel were at the scene in the mountain town of Regent searching for people trapped in the debris.