SLEONE-FLOOD-DISASTER

Source: SEYLLOU / Getty

A massive mudslide that occurred in Sierra Leone last week has resulted in a death toll of almost 500, with over 150 children.

Sparked by heavy rains and flooding in an area that has suffered years of deforestation, Mount Sugar Loaf collapsed on Monday, August 14, burying parts of Regent town just outside of the capital, Freetown.

At least 10,000 people have been forced out of their homes and the government has called for the evacuation of another 10,000 people. Improvised relief centers have been set up by aid agencies to help those affected, and foreign aid is being sent to the capitol as well.

“The centres are overrun and overcrowded and so relief workers have called on armed guards to come and bring order back,” said Al Jazeera reporter Nicolas Haque.

While U.S. media outlets are quick to show support when disasters occur in Euro-centric cities, most recently in Barcelona and London, the landslide has hardly been covered in mainstream media. This is a common issue that we see when it comes to tragedies in the global south. Since these countries are already treated as “the other,” the level of empathy and reliability is substantially less. What’s worse is that countries like the United States often profit off the resources pillaged from smaller economies in the southern hemisphere but then turn a blind eye when natural disasters occur as a result.

As we keep all cities recovering from recent terrorist attacks in mind, we shouldn’t forget or discredit the suffering going on in the rest of the world.

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