Death toll from Sierra Leone floods passes 400: Red Cross

A man carries an empty coffin at the Paloko cemetery in Waterloo, Sierra Leone August 17, 2017. (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde) Top News

The death toll from devastating floods in Sierra Leone has passed 400 while an estimated 600 others remain missing, a senior Red Cross official said today. “Today we are counting more than 400 people dead,” the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Elhadj As Sy, told reporters in Geneva.

An unofficial morgue toll had previously put the toll at around 400 dead, but the figure had not been officially confirmed. Sy said the government of the West African country was facing a crisis “way beyond (its) capacity” and appealed to the international community to significantly ramp up its support. The displaced are still sleeping outside “because there are not enough shelters for everybody,” he said.

Responding to the crisis that began on Monday will require “a combination of efforts from all people,” he added. The Red Cross said it will launch an emergency funding appeal later today.

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