Death toll from floods in Libya surpasses 3,000

The catastrophic event was triggered by a Mediterranean storm that made landfall in eastern Libya on Sunday.

Tripoli: The death toll from the devastating floods that struck Libya’s eastern city of Derna on Sunday has risen to 3,060, while 5,200 others remain missing, according to the eastern-based Interior Ministry.

“The authorities have buried 2,800 bodies after their families identified them, while 260 unidentified bodies remain in the city’s hospital,” the ministry spokesman Tareq al-Kharraz told Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

Al-Kharraz said 5,200 people have gone missing, stressing that the actual death toll might be considerably higher, given that search and rescue operations are ongoing, and additional bodies continue to be recovered from various locations within the city.

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According to media reports, assistance and rescue efforts started to reach Derna on Tuesday, more than 36 hours after the disaster hit the coastal city. The floods had either severely damaged or completely destroyed numerous access roads leading to the city, which is home to approximately 89,000 residents.

The collapse of the Derna Dam caused the death toll to rise. Photo: AFP

Meanwhile, Tamer Ramadan, Libyan envoy representing the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told a UN meeting on Tuesday that he believed there were still at least 10,000 people unaccounted for in the flood-hit areas.

The catastrophic event was triggered by a Mediterranean storm that made landfall in eastern Libya on Sunday, resulting in widespread flooding and causing extensive damage to infrastructure along its path.

President of the Libyan Presidency Council Mohamed Menfi on Monday called for international assistance to help with the aftermath of the floods, declaring the cities of Derna, Al-Bayda, and Shahhat as areas in dire need of assistance.

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