CAPE TOWN, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) said on Thursday it stands ready to "assist in every way possible way" following the devastating mudslide that has killed more than 400 people in Sierra Leon.
"The SADC has learnt with sadness the demise of over 400 Sierra Leone nationals who have died in one of the worst floods in Africa, which have devastated parts of Sierra Leone's capital and disrupted normal life", said South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who is also Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers.
This is an unprecedented and dreadful time for the People of Sierra Leon who have lost loved ones and whose homes and property have been damaged in the floods, Nkoana-Mashabane said.
"On behalf of the SADC region, her citizens and the Office of the Chairperson of SADC, I wish to convey our condolences and solidarity with Sierra Leone and her people during this devastating period of mourning and recovery," she said.
The people of SADC are touched by the suffering of the people and wish them strength during this difficult period, Nkoana-Mashabane added.
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone has appealed for urgent help to support the thousands of people affected by the devastating mudslide on Monday on the outskirts of the country's capital of Freetown.
Nkoana-Mashabane called upon the international community and partners to strengthen their efforts, and urgently assist in the search and rescue process, so that there is a speedy return to normalization of the way of life of the people.
"On behalf of the region, SADC would like to assure Sierra Leone's nationals of SADC's continued support," she said.