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Sierra Leone Rescue Workers Race to Find Those Missing in Face of Another Natural Disaster

08-18-2017
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Sierro Leone

Rescue workers in Sierra Leone are racing against the clock as coming rainfall could bring another natural disaster. 

A deadly mudslide hit the nation's capital of Freeport Monday killing at least 400 people. 

Recovery efforts continue as workers search through mud and debris looking for the estimated 600 people that are missing. 

"The death toll is climbing by the day," Elhadj As Sy, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told reporters in Geneva. He added that the disaster is "way beyond the capacity of the government alone."

Critics have accused the government of not learning from past disasters as many poor areas are near sea level and lack good drainage. However, the government is warning residents to evacuate a mountainside where a large crack has opened. 

The government has promised to give mudslide victims a respectful burial. 

"The water took away my mother and sister and they have buried them today. That's why we are here, to mourn and go back home," said one survivor, Zainab Kargbo.

They have already hired 600 gravediggers for burials in a cemetery that holds the bodies of Ebola victims, which broke out in the country from 2014-15. 

The Red Cross said they still hope to find survivors "but the chances are getting smaller every day." 

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