The Red Cross says at least 200 people have been killed in a mudslide near Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.
A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rains, leaving many houses covered in mud. Many people may have been asleep when the mudslide occurred.
Sierra Leone’s Vice-President Victor Bockarie Foh said it was “likely that hundreds are lying dead”.
The number of casualties is expected to rise. Foh told Reuters news agency that the disaster was so serious that he himself feels broken.
He said that the area had to be cordoned off as people were evacuated, with many still feared trapped in their homes.
Locals were reportedly trying to recover bodies from the rubble and mud with their bare hands.
The worst-hit area is thought to be the Regent district on the outskirts of Freetown, where dozens of houses were submerged when the hillside collapsed.