BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Thursday after news reports confirmed more than 400 people lost their lives and 600 were still missing from mudslides that occurred on a hillside in Regent, a mountainous town 15 miles east of Freetown, after heavy rains struck the area.
“I’m profoundly saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life in the past days due to mudslides caused by heavy rains. I offer my deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones, and Sierra Leone as a whole. America’s thoughts and prayers are with that nation in this time of profound loss. Sierra Leonean government officials have indicated that they are responding to the crisis with all available resources. Our Embassy in Freetown has made a disaster declaration. I urge the Administration to move quickly to immediately provide lifesaving assistance now, and to ensure that we are poised to work with Sierra Leone to deliver much needed humanitarian aid during the recovery phase to prevent further loss of life.
“This is yet another sobering reminder of how imperative it is for us to work together to fully fund our foreign affairs budget. Helping countries respond adequately to both natural and manmade disasters around the world is an American value. We stand with the people of Sierra Leone during this tragedy.”