Heavy rains and mudslides in and around Sierra Leone’s capital have killed hundreds and displaced thousands. As families reel from the tragedy Sierra Leone Red Cross volunteers continue to provide comfort and aid. Three days of heavy rains triggered severe mudslides 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.“I have never seen anything like it,” said Abdul Nasim form the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). “A river of mud came out of nowhere and swallowed entire communities, just wiped them away. We are racing against time, more flooding and the risk of disease to help these affected communities survive and cope with their loss.”
Rescuers—including Red Cross teams—worked to find survivors and care for the injured. With more than 600 people still reported missing, the relief operation is ongoing. Red Cross volunteers have been recovering people from the mud and debris, helping evacuate residents, transferring bodies to morgues, and providing medical care to the injured.“Our staff and volunteers, many of whom come from the affected areas, are shocked by the sheer destruction of this disaster,” said Constant Kargbo, Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Red Cross. “The needs are massive. Damaged roads, power outages and broken communication lines present huge challenges for our volunteers to reach and support the affected communities.”More than 1,900 families were impacted by the floods and mudslide. Torrential rains are expected to continue in nearby areas. Sierra Leone’s government is evacuating people in area under immediate threat as lifesaving aid to those already impacted continues.
Help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to American Red Cross International Services, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to those in need.
The American Red Cross is able to respond to the mudslide relief efforts and other crises around the world through gifts to support American Red Cross International Services. It allows us to respond to the humanitarian need immediately as opposed to responding only after donations are received in the aftermath of a disaster.
This year, the Red Cross has responded to several disasters in Africa alone such as the East African Drought and providing aid and relief to families displaced by the violence. We continue to monitor the violence in neighboring countries and if a greater role is required. In addition to responding to disasters, the American Red Cross also is engaged in several disaster preparedness and risk reduction initiatives in Africa as well as other health initiatives focused on eliminating Measles in Africa.