Over 5,200 dead, another 10,000 missing in Libya's flooding

13-09-2023 10:29 AM

Ammon News - More than 5,200 people are believed to have died in devastating floods across eastern Libya, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said Tuesday.

Another 10,000 people are believed to be missing, according to Tamer Ramadan, Libya envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

"The death toll is huge," Ramadan said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

In just the city of Derna, the worst hit area, at least 700 people have been confirmed dead from the unprecedented flooding. A quarter of Derna was wiped out after dams burst and the city was declared a disaster zone, with electricity and communication having been cut off.

Emergency workers uncovered more than 1,500 bodies in the wreckage of Derna on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

An additional 1,200 people were injured in the flooding in Derna, according to authorities.

The cities of Al Marj, Susah, Shahat and Al Bayda have also recorded several fatalities.

Rescue and relief efforts were underway on Tuesday to assist those affected by the flooding, according to Gen. Khalifa Haftar, head of the powerful Libyan military faction that controls the eastern part of the divided country.

Mediterranean storm Daniel is behind the widespread flooding in the North African nation as it swept away entire neighborhoods and destroyed homes in several coastal towns over the weekend.

Libya's National Center of Meteorology reported that more than 16 inches of rain fell in the city of Bayda within a 24-hour period to Sunday, according to the flood tracking website Floodlist.

Initial reports indicated that the storm damaged dozens of cities and villages in the area, according to Georgette Gagnon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Libya.

Last week, the same storm system hammered the southeastern Mediterranean, killing at least 26 people in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, according to The Washington Post.

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