Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday instructed the Foreign Ministry to send aid to Sierra Leone, where hundreds of people were killed in a massive landslide in the capital.
At least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless when heavy flooding hit Freetown, leaving excavators to pull bodies from rubble and overwhelming the city’s morgues.
“The prime minister has ordered the Foreign Ministry to extend aid to Sierra Leone in any way and as soon as possible,” his office said.
As there is no embassy in Sierra Leone, Netanyahu said Israel will send medicines, clean water, blankets and other needed items via the embassy in Senegal.
Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma visited Israel in January, and at that time Netanyahu discussed with him the possibility of sending a delegation to help the country’s development.
Modtager lige nu de mest grusomme billeder fra Sierra Leone, hvor flere hundrede er døde i mudderskred.
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UN indicators.
Sierra Leone’s military, police and Red Cross volunteers were deployed in an all-out effort to locate and rescue citizens trapped in their homes or under rubble.
The Sierra Leone meteorological department did not issue any warning ahead of the torrential rains to hasten evacuation from the disaster zones, AFP’s correspondent based in Freetown said.
Deputy Information Minister Cornelius Deveaux confirmed Koroma had called a national emergency, and said his own boss, Information Minister Mohamed Bangura, was in the hospital after being injured in the flooding.
The scale of the human cost of the floods was only becoming clear on Monday afternoon, as images of battered corpses piled on top of each other circulated and residents spoke of their struggles to cope with the destruction and find their loved ones.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 14, 2017
Meanwhile disaster management official Vandy Rogers said that “over 2,000 people are homeless,” hinting at the huge humanitarian effort that will be required to deal with the fallout of the flooding.
Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of 1.2 million, is hit each year by flooding during several months of rain that destroys makeshift settlements and raises the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.