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Mayor: 18,000 people may have died in Libyan floods

Sep 16, 2023 | International | 0 comments

Flash floods in Libya killed at least 8,000 people, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday that a seven-meter wave in Derna, a northern coastal city, “wiped out” entire buildings, leaving thousands missing.

Some media report officials charging higher tolls. The Derna mayor placed the flood death toll between 18,000 and 20,000.

Al-Ghaithi told al-Arabiya TV that these figures were based on the number of districts destroyed by two dams over the weekend.

NiMet DG: Nigeria will have a stronger flood than Libya.

Forum sympathises with Morocco earthquake Libya flood victims.

As Derna struggles to bury bodies, human rights activists said more grave diggers are needed.

Abu Bakr Al-Rifadi told LANA that “the torrent waters caused the city of Derna to be divided into western and eastern halves.”

The torrents destroyed at least 25% of Derna, according to Namaa Organization leader Ali Al-Ghazali.

He added that the city centre’s shops, clinics, schools, main roads, and historical sites “was the hardest hit.”

“Destroyed. Foreign teams are helping in the city. Unfortunately, there are too many street corpses. By day three, most bodies are decomposing. The air smells of death.

I lost relatives in the flood. My wife’s first cousins. Whole families died. My wife is battling cancer. After the flooding, we moved her to Benghazi to continue her treatment, al-Ghazali said.

Last week, unprecedented rainfall in the North African nation ravaged cities, rupturing two dams in the northeast and flooding Derna, which was hit hardest.

The UN has said most of the deaths in Libya’s flash floods could have been “avoided,” as aid workers struggle to deliver vital aid amid political divisions and debris.

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