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Sierra Leone’s symbolic ‘Cotton Tree’ destroyed in rain storm

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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 stated 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 huge trunk nonetheless standing, a authorities assertion stated, 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 stated.

“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.”

Based on legend, slaves who received their freedom combating on the British aspect of the American Warfare of Independence prayed beneath the tree once 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 wish beneath the tree, which in current a long time towered over a busy roundabout close to the nationwide museum, the central submit workplace and the nation’s highest courtroom.

On Thursday morning, a couple of hundred residents gathered across the web site in mourning.

“I am shocked and heartbroken to see our beloved Freetown Cotton Tree destroyed this morning on my strategy to work,” Gibrilla Sesay, a 34-year-old finance employee stated.

There have been no experiences of accidents, the federal government stated.

The police and navy have been deployed across the space Thursday, a reporter stated, 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 have been killed in a mudslide within the capital when a part of a mountain collapsed onto casual settlements.

One other eight individuals have been killed in a landslide final August.

At the very least 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.