The Red Cross says the mudslide has killed at least 312 people in Sierra Leone's capital and left hospitals struggling to cope.

(TRT World and Agencies)

At least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless when a mudslide and heavy flooding hit Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, on Monday leaving hospitals struggling to cope.

Witnesses at the scene saw bodies being carried away and houses submerged in two areas of the city, where roads were turned into churning rivers of mud and corpses washed up on the streets.

Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi said the toll was 312 but could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas in Freetown.

Distressing images

Videos posted by local residents showed people waist- and chest-deep in water trying to traverse the road. Other images showed battered corpses piled on top of each other, as residents struggled to cope with the destruction.

Local media reports also said that a section of a hill in the Regent area of the city had partially collapsed.

A string of tragedies

Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of 1.2 million, is hit annually by flooding during several months of rain that destroys makeshift settlements and raises the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Flooding in the capital in 2015 killed 10 people and left thousands homeless.

Sierra Leone was one of the West African nations hit by an outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014 that left more than 4,000 people dead in the country, and it has struggled to revive its economy since the crisis.

About 60 percent of people in Sierra Leone live below the national poverty line, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies