Kenyan leader mourns mudslide victims in Sierra Leone

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-15 22:25:47|Editor: Zhou Xin
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NAIROBI, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday that he has received, with dismay and sadness, news of the mudslide tragedy in Sierra Leone that had claimed more than 300 lives.

Red Cross volunteers are digging for survivors and supporting distraught families in the wake of heavy flooding and mudslides that have ripped through Sierra Leone's capital Freetown.

According to humanitarian agencies, current estimates indicate that as many as 3,000 have been made homeless, although this figure is expected to rise.

"Kenya and Sierra Leone are allies, partners and friends, so our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives were lost, and with all those who were injured," Kenyatta said in a statement.

"Even as we speak, there are men and women of courage comforting the bereaved, and doing their best to find, to protect, and to heal the survivors of this tragedy," he added.

A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rain, leaving many houses covered in mud. The number of casualties is expected to rise.

Kenyatta said the spirit of African solidarity remains strong and has assured President Ernest Bai Koroma that Kenya will provide any necessary assistance.

"We pray that God will rest the souls of the departed in peace; that he will comfort the bereaved; and that he will grant the people of Sierra Leone the strength they will need to get through this difficult time," Kenyatta said.

The mudslides came following three days of torrential rain. Communication lines and electricity have been disrupted and the full extent and damage from the mudslides have yet to be determined.