Sierra Leone is mourning after hundreds of people were killed after mudslides hit the the country's capital Freetown.

Several homes were submerged in Regent village, a hilltop community, and corpses floating in the water in the Lumley West area of the city.

The president, Ernest Bai Koroma, gave an assurance that emergency services are doing their best to tackle one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the city.

Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP the death toll was 312 but could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas in Freetown and tally the number of dead.

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UN indicators.

"I counted over 300 bodies and more are coming," Mohamed Sinneh, a morgue technician at Freetown's Connaught Hospital, told AFP, having earlier described an "overwhelming number of dead" at the facility leaving no space to lay out every body.

Many more of the dead were taken to private morgues, Sinneh said.

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