A centuries-old, towerintree that served as a historic image in Sierra Leone has been felled throughout a wind and rain storm within the capital Freetown, the federal government mentioned on Thursday.g
The 70-metre (230-foot) Ceiba pentandra — lovingly recognized by Sierra Leoneans as “Cotton Tree” — misplaced all of its branches late Wednesday, with solely the bottom of its monumental trunk nonetheless standing, a authorities assertion mentioned, citing “torrential rains and excessive winds”.
It estimated the tree to be round 400 years previous.
“All Sierra Leoneans will pause for thought on the lack of such a prestigious nationwide image as Cotton Tree,” President Julius Maada Bio mentioned.
“For hundreds of years it has been a proud emblem of our nation, an emblem of a nation that has grown to offer shelter for a lot of.”
In accordance with legend, slaves who received their freedom preventing on the British facet of the American Conflict of Independence prayed beneath the tree after they arrived in West Africa.
It adorned financial institution notes and stamps, was visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1961, and had remained a landmark ever since.
Freetown residents continued to hope beneath the tree, which in current many years towered over a busy roundabout close to the nationwide museum, the central put up workplace and the nation’s highest courtroom.
On Thursday morning, a few hundred residents gathered across the website in mourning.
“I am shocked and heartbroken to see our beloved Freetown Cotton Tree destroyed this morning on my solution to work,” Gibrilla Sesay, a 34-year-old finance employee mentioned.
There have been no studies of accidents, the federal government mentioned.
The police and navy had been deployed across the space Thursday, a reporter mentioned, and the federal government introduced a clean-up effort was underway.
Sierra Leone has suffered a number of climate-related disasters lately.
In 2017, greater than 1,100 individuals had been killed in a mudslide within the capital when a part of a mountain collapsed onto casual settlements.
One other eight individuals had been killed in a landslide final August.
Not less than 15 individuals died in flooding earlier in Could, in response to the Nationwide Catastrophe Administration Company.
Sierra Leone’s wet season sometimes lasts from Could to October.