FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Relatives dug through the mud in search of their loved ones and a morgue overflowed with bodies Monday after heavy rains and flooding early in the day killed at least 200 people in Sierra Leone’s capital.
Bodies were spread out on the floor of a morgue, Sinneh Kamara, a coroner technician at the Connaught Hospital mortuary, told the national broadcaster.
“The capacity at the mortuary is too small for the corpses,” he told the Sierra Leone National Broadcasting Corp.
Kamara urged the health department to deploy more ambulances, saying his mortuary only has four.
Sierra Leone’s national television broadcaster interrupted its regular programming to show scenes of people trying to retrieve their loved ones’ bodies. Others were seen carting relatives’ remains in rice sacks to the morgue.
Military personnel have been deployed to help in the rescue operation currently ongoing, officials said.
Many of the impoverished areas of Sierra Leone’s capital are close to sea level and have poor drainage systems, exacerbating flooding during the West African country’s rainy season.