West African Floods: Deluge in Freetown
Jordan Yerman | September 12, 2008 at 05:07 amby
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Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, had a tough enough time as it was, after years of poverty and civil war. Now parts of the city are beneath more than three feet of water following heavy rains
"It is probably the heaviest downpour since the start of the rainy season" in May, meteorologist John Koroma said of late Thursday's storm.
Flood waters destroyed homes, swept away household goods and damaged vehicles amid unconfirmed reports of people having been buried alive in homes when huge boulders were dislodged from hilltops overlooking the capital.
The rain caused huge traffic jams throughout the city and forced businesses and markets to close.
An estimated 1,000 people were yesterday left homeless after violent rains washed away small huts made of corroded zinc, corrugated sheet or tarpaulin in Freetown's overcrowded slums of Kroo Bay.
"People could not use the toilet and children were asked to defecate wherever they were for fear that water could sweep them along. My family and I have come here to seek refuge. As you can see we are over three hundred here," Kanu said.