A minister from the government in charge of east Libya told Reuters on Tuesday (September 12) that more than 1,000 bodies have been removed from the city of Derna in flood-stricken eastern Libya. He added that once dams gave way as a result of the storm that dumped heavy amounts of rain in the area, a quarter of the city was completely destroyed by floods.
In the meantime, the head of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Libya reported that the death toll from the catastrophic floods is “huge” and could top a thousand. He also stated that approximately 10,000 people are believed to be missing.
Following Storm Daniel’s weekend passage across the Mediterranean, which caused several nations, including Libya, to experience two days of intense flooding and severe winds, the floods occurred.
More than 2,300 people have died in Derna alone, according to Osama Ali, an official with the government’s emergency services in Tripoli.
According to AFP, Ali’s team, which is alleged to have been working in Derna since Monday (Sep 11), also stated that more than 5,000 people were still unaccounted for and that nearly 7,000 people had been hurt by the force of floodwaters that poured down a typically dry river valley.
Hichem Abu Chkiouat, the administration in charge of the east’s emergency committee and minister of civil aviation, told Reuters by phone that “the number of bodies recovered in Derna is over 1,000.”
“I’m not exaggerating,” he continued, “when I claim that 25% of the city has vanished. There have been countless building collapses. The official made the declaration after claiming to have just returned from Derna, a seaside city of about 125,000 people, and describing the current condition of affairs as “very disastrous.”
According to Abu Chkiouat, who spoke to Reuters, “Bodies are lying everywhere — in the sea, in the valleys, and under the buildings.”
Later on, he added to his earlier statement, telling Al Jazeera that he anticipated there will be more than 2,500 fatalities nationwide. An estimated 20,000 individuals have been relocated, citing the media source.
10,000 people are still unaccounted for, according to the IFRC, with over 2,000 deaths.
Tamer Ramadan, the head of a delegation for the IFRC, spoke at a press conference in Geneva via video link from Tunisia and stated, “We can confirm from our independent sources of information that the number of missing people is hitting 10,000 so far.”
Taqfiq Shukri, a spokeswoman for the Libyan Red Crescent, claimed that the death toll might reach 2,084.
Aid and damage
On their route to Derna, a Reuters reporter noticed trees that had been uprooted, wrecked cars on the sides of the road, and abandoned, flooded homes.
According to reports, a huge stream was observed flowing through Derna’s city core when dams burst, citing photos and videos taken by locals in the flood-affected districts.
Since a 2011 NATO-supported revolt, Libya has been politically divided between the east and west, with two opposing governments in power and deteriorating public services.
Osama Hamad, the chairman of the eastern Libyan government, rules in the areas of the nation that are under Khalifa Haftar’s control and is not officially recognised by the international community.
While everything is going on, aid has been sent to Derna since the western government in Tripoli, which is recognised internationally, does not have control over the eastern regions. Other nations have expressed their willingness to assist, notably the United States and Turkey.
According to Reuters, medical supplies donated by the cities of Tripoli and Misrata and donations from businesspeople landed on Tuesday (Sept. 12) at Al Abraq airport.