Death toll in eastern Libya floods tops 3,000
Rescue efforts underway to save people in affected areas, thousands still accounted for
More than 3,000 people have died and many others remain unaccounted for after floods caused by Storm Daniel struck eastern Libya, an official said on Tuesday.
Speaking to Anadolu, Othman Abdul Jalil, health minister of the parliament-appointed government, said most of the victims were in the coastal city of Derna.
Other cities and towns affected by the weekend catastrophe include Benghazi, Bayda, Al Marj, and Soussa.
Jalil estimated the number of missing people in thousands, but refrained from giving an exact figure.
Earlier, a source within the Libyan Red Crescent told Anadolu that the death toll in affected regions reached 2,800, and that most people died from drowning or from the collapse of residential buildings.
Around 7,000 families remain stranded in the affected areas, and rescue operations were underway to evacuate them, the source said.
The Libyan Red Crescent lost four of its workers while helping in the rescue efforts, according to the official.
Ossama Hamad, head of the parliament-appointed government, on Monday said the death toll in Derna alone topped 2,000, and thousands were believed missing.
Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, the head of Libya’s Tripoli-based unity government, declared all areas exposed to the deadly flooding as disaster zones, and announced three days of national mourning.
Georgette Gagnon, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Libya, said she was “deeply saddened” by the severe impact of the hurricane, and tasked an emergency response team to support local authorities and partners in the region.
Initial reports indicate that dozens of villages and towns are severely affected by the storm, with widespread flooding, damage to infrastructure, and loss of life, she added.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat and Ahmed Asmar in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.