Authorities in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown reported on Monday that torrential rain and a landslide killed eight people and displaced over 800 others, and warned of severe harm if the rains continue.

What’s happening?
The city saw heavy rains over the weekend, resulting in a landslide on Sunday in the Looking Town region. This month marks the fifth anniversary of a deadly mudslide in Freetown’s Regent area that killed over 1,000 people.

On August 14, 2017, a section of the Sugar Loaf Mountain broke away and tumbled onto informal settlements, shattering shacks and engulfing entire houses in red muck.

Experts are concerned that it will happen again.

The Expected cause
“Continued deforestation for charcoal burning and building dwellings on mountain slopes may be the causes of the next mudslide disaster if immediate action is not taken,” says a report from the government.

What you should know
According to the World Bank, floods and landslides have harmed hundreds of thousands of people and caused serious economic damage in Sierra Leone during the last 20 years. The rainy season in the West African country normally lasts from May until October.

Following the 2017 disaster, the government responded by planting approximately 2,200 mango, banana, avocado, and moringa trees.

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