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Over 1,000 dead in wake of Sierra Leone mudslide


Seyllou | AFP

Zelda Caldwell - published on 08/28/17 - updated on 08/28/17

Authorities dig up corpses to prevent contamination of water supply.

The death toll from a devastating mudslide in Sierra Leone on August 14 has risen to more than 1,000 people, according to local leaders.

“Over 1,000 perished in the mudslide and flood disaster, and we will never know the exact number now,” Elenoroh Jokomie Metzger told the Associated Press. Metzger is the head of the women of Regent, an area outside Freetown, where the mudslide hit.

Aid groups are working to deliver supplies and provide clean water to prevent a health crisis. Crux reported that the Sierra Leone government is conducting a campaign over radio and social media to prevent a possible cholera epidemic. The Ministry of Health has issued a statement urging the public to “drink only water collected from a safe source” and to “wash all fruits and vegetables well with clean water before eating.”

While there are no confirmed cases of cholera, the government has begun digging up corpses buried by the mudslide in an effort to prevent the water supply system from being contaminated, according to the report.

In 2012, the last outbreak of cholera in Sierra Leone killed 392 people and infected over 25,000 others.

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