Sierra Leone floods, mudslides kill at least 21 people

Authorities in Sierra Leone say at least 21 people are dead amid heavy flooding.

Storms swept through the capital of Freetown early Monday, flooding downtown streets and creating mudslides in hilly areas.

Sierra Leone's national television broadcaster interrupted regular programming to show scenes of people digging through mud to retrieve the dead bodies of loved ones.

Officials said military personnel have been deployed to help in the rescue operation currently ongoing.

Deputy Information Minister Cornelius Deveaux said officials are still trying to compile casualty figures.

Many of the impoverished areas of Sierra Leone's capital are close to sea level and have poor drainage systems, exacerbating flooding during this West African country's rainy season.