Storms swept through Freetown, flooding downtown streets and creating mudslides in hilly areas.
One such mudslide in the Regent area reportedly happened in the dead of night while many residents were asleep.
Sierra Leone’s national TV broadcaster interrupted regular programming to show shocking scenes of people digging through the mud in a desperate bid to find their loved ones.
Others were seen carting relatives’ remains in rice sacks to the morgue.
Officials said military personnel have been deployed to help in the ongoing rescue operation.
Deputy Information Minister Cornelius Deveaux said officials are still trying to compile precise casualty figures.
But the local Red Cross revealed 312 people had been confirmed dead.
And Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi said the toll could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas.
The Society 4 Climate Change Communication Sierra Leone earlier said one hospital morgue confirmed it had received at least 200 bodies – including 60 kids.
And Sinneh Kamara, a coroner technician at the Connaught Hospital mortuary, told the national broadcaster the number of corpses brought in has overwhelmed the facility. Source