Of the 400 some bodies recovered around 105 are children. Little limbs are pulled from muddied rubble, and the bodies are buried in mass graves. 320 bodies were buried on Tuesday afternoon alone in two graves at a cemetery on the outskirts of Freetown.
These burials are bleak reminders of the country's past traumas. During the Ebola outbreak and the civil war mass burials were very common.
But the trauma continues for Sierra Leone as Red Cross officials estimate that at least another 600 people are still missing and over 3,000 have lost their homes. Both these numbers are expected to rise in the coming days.
President Ernest Bai Koroma has declared a state of emergency and pleaded for international assistance. Addressing media Koroma said that the devastation was "overwhelming us. Entire communities have been wiped out. We need urgent support now."
With rain forecast for at least the coming week the threat of further deadly mudslides around Freetown remain a dangerous reality for its residents.
"Our staff and volunteers, many of whom come from the affected areas, are shocked by the sheer destruction of this disaster," says Constant Kargbo, Sierra Leone Red Cross Secretary General. "The needs are massive. Damaged roads, power outages and broken communication lines present huge challenges for our volunteers to reach and support the affected communities."
The International Federation of the Red Cross has drawn on its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to help Sierra Leone These emergency funds will enable volunteers to assist more than 9,000 people with search and rescue, first aid, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion and emergency food.
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