Hundreds of people have been killed by a mudslide in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone.
Vice-President Victor Foh said 200 people may have likely been killed.
“It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble,” Foh told Reuters at the scene of the mudslide in the mountain town of Regent.
He added that a number of illegal buildings had been erected in the area.
“The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken,” he added.
“We’re trying to cordon (off) the area (and) evacuate the people.”
The mudslide happened in the early morning in the mountain town of Regent, where dozens of houses were submerged after a night of heavy rain.
A major rescue operation is now underway although emergency workers are struggling to reach the worst-affected areas.
Mudslides and floods are fairly common during the rainy season in West Africa. Deforestation and poor town planning put residents at risk.