Sierra Leone floods death toll passes 400: Red Cross

Mass burials begin for 300 Sierra Leone flood victims

Sierra Leone: Rescue workers find 400 bodies in mudslide, over 600 still missing

Following the deadly mudslide and floods that have caused hundreds of casualties in Sierra Leone and displaced around 1100 households, the European Union has released an initial amount of emergency humanitarian assistance of €300,000 (Le2,520,000,000) for the most vulnerable families affected by this disaster.

More than 600 bodies have been recovered and thousands are missing after heavy flooding said to be the worst in Africa in two decades, hit parts of the country.

The IFRC chief told reporters in Geneva that "what they are facing today is way beyond the capacity of the government alone".

The government has hired 600 gravediggers for burials in a cemetery were victims of the 2014 Ebola outbreak are buried. The heavy rain had also caused widespread flooding in the Racecourse, Regent and Lumley areas near Sierra Leone's capital Freetown.

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International Development Secretary Priti Patel says "the international community must follow our lead" to save lives in the impoverished West African nation. An unofficial morgue toll had previously put the toll at around 400 dead, but the figure had not been officially confirmed.

Zuliatu Cooper, the deputy minister of health and sanitation, said the government's main focus right now is getting people away from areas still under threat.

The UN has said 4,000 people are affected by the mudslides and flooding.

"I have never seen anything like it", said Abdul Nasir, program coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "Sierra Leone will rise again".

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Residents have been warned to evacuate the mountain as rainfall is still forecast for the coming days, raising fears of further mudslides.

Meanwhile, the government is preparing to send relief supplies to Sierra Leone, a nation mourning the tragic loss of almost 400 lives in a flooding disaster.

"The topography of this area is not easily accessible, but as the military we continue to make headway", said Colonel Abu Bakarr Bah, who is leading a search team.

President Ernest Bai Koroma, who has been blamed for exacerbating the damage from the mudslide due to his failure to tackle illegal construction in the nation's capital, is expected to attend the ceremony for those killed.

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