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The Anniversary of a Tragedy in Freetown

Survivors of a devastating mudslide in Sierra Leone, which left more than 1,000 people dead, have gathered for a commemorative event, as torrential rainfall has been battering the country’s capital, Freetown, leaving many homes submerged in water and cars stuck on the road. There have been no casualties so far, but authorities have issued a warning to those living in low-lying areas. The 2017 mudslide, which is still a trauma for many, buried its victims alive – many of whom were sleeping at the time. One of those present at the commemorative event was five-year-old Moses Thullah, who was one month old at the time of the tragedy. The water tossed him around, leaving him floating in a neighbouring house where he was miraculously found alive – several hours later. However, his father did not survive. The mudslide followed a torrential downpour of rain, much like that of today, but it also came amid the unregulated construction of houses. Emotions are still high, years later, with a religious leader crying at a commemorative event on Wednesday. Many still feel lessons have not been learnt and doubt the capacity of the newly established national disaster agency, to deal with any major incident amid warnings of further downpours.