Sierra Leone – Deadly Flash Floods Hit Freetown

Local media in Sierra Leone are reporting that several people have died after flash floods in the capital, Freetown, on 02 August.

The city saw torrential rain on 02 August, with more expected. Streets have been inundated and homes damaged or destroyed. At least 4 deaths occurred after the wall of a building collapsed.

Local media said there were reports of people trapped in flooded homes and vehicles with little, if any, emergency assistance available. Flood waters reportedly swamped the city’s port area, tipping over shipping containers.

Many in the city are fearing a repeat of the August 2017 disaster when flooding and mudslides killed an estimated 1,000 people in one of the worst flood-related disasters to hit Africa in living memory.

Some critics described the 2017 floods as a “man-made disaster” that could have been prevented. In particular the city’s unchecked urban sprawl came under scrutiny.

In May 2018, almost 1 year after the disaster, many survivors were still living in fear of a fresh disaster.

Freetown 14 August 2017
Red Cross volunteers dig for survivors and support distraught families in the wake of heavy flooding and mudslides that ripped through Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown.
Photo credit: Sierra Leone Red Cross Society

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