Hundreds feared dead in Sierra Leone mudslide, UN chief "saddened"

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Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Violaine Martin (file)

A mudslide in Sierra Leone on Monday has left at least 200 dead, according to news reports, burying dozens of homes following heavy rains.

The UN Secretary-General said he was saddened by the deaths and devastation, which took place near the capital of Freetown.

More details from Matt Wells.

The mudslide occurred in the town of Regent, early on Monday, and the death toll is likely to rise, according to news agencies.

Many of the victims may have been asleep when the mud began to cascade down the hillside.

In a statement, UN chief António Guterres extended his condolences to the people and government of Sierra Leone "for the loss of life and destruction caused by this natural disaster".

He also pledged the "full solidarity" of the UN with on-going rescue and recovery efforts.

Several thousand are also believed to have been made homeless as a result of the mudslide and a disaster management official for the government reportedly said that a huge humanitarian effort would be needed to deal with the aftermath of the flooding across a wide area.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 42"

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