News Brief

A Devastating Mudslide Killed Hundreds in Sierra Leone and the Death Toll Keeps Climbing

A mudslide on the Outskirt of Sierra Leone claimed 312 lives and left 2000 people homeless.

SIERRA LEONE— According to the Red Cross, at least 312 people were found dead and 2000 people have been made homeless after a hillside collapsed in the Freetown suburb of Regent earlier today. The Sierra Leonean local TV station interrupted its scheduled broadcast to show devastating images of people looking for their loved ones amid the torrential mud.


The capital is in a state of emergency as the morgues have reached their capacity and the death toll continues to increase.

"It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble,” the country’s Vice President,Victor Foh, told Reuters. "The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken. We're trying to cordon [off] the area (and) evacuate the people," he added.

Sierra Leone frequently experiences floods.  In 2015, ten people were killed and thousands became homeless in floods caused by the monsoon rains. Areas like Regent which are populated by informal settlements are even more vulnerable to these heavy rains. is not unusual in Sierra Leone, where unsafe housing in makeshift settlements can be swept away by heavy rains.

 

 

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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