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Over 10,000 People Missing, About 2,000 Dead Due to Floods in Libya, IFRC Official Says

© AP PhotoFloods in Libya
Floods in Libya - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 12.09.2023
Last Sunday, Libyan media reported that torrential rains brought by Storm Daniel caused high water and floods in multiple cities and towns in eastern Libya, including Al-Bayda and Derna.
The number of missing people has increased to 10,000 after devastating floods hit Libya’s eastern city Derna, head of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation in the country Tamer Ramadan said during the United Nations press briefing on Tuesday.

"We don't have a definite number right now," he said, commenting on the death toll.

However, Ramadan also stressed that the organization had independent sources saying "the number of missing people is hitting 10,000 persons so far."
He noted that the team is still doing the assessment, but "the death toll is huge," adding that it might reach to thousands.
Prime Minister of the country's east-based government Oussama Hamad has reported "more than 2,000 dead and thousands missing" in the city of Derna alone, but no medical sources or emergency services have confirmed such figures.
However, Ramadan said that judging from the figures he was seeing, "it's very likely that the number declared (by the eastern official) could be close to the correct number." He stressed he hoped the IFRC would be able to provide a more precise toll of the disaster later Tuesday.

"The humanitarian needs are much more beyond the abilities of the Libyan Red Crescent and even the abilities of the government. That's why the government in the east has issued an international appeal for support" Ramadan highlighted, adding that IFRC was also preparing to launch an emergency appeal for funds towards the response.

Speaking about material damage, Minister of Civil Aviation of the east-based government Hichem Chkiouat told media on Tuesday that about 25% of the city of Derna was destroyed by floods.

"The scale of the destruction is very large, 25% of the city has disappeared," Chkiouat said.

The minister added that "all airports in the eastern region are open for the arrival of aid by air," noting that the air harbors are ready to receive large aircraft.
Earlier, according to media, in response to the flood caused by Storm Daniel, air and seaports in the region were closed. The cities of Susah and Derna were declared natural disaster zones. Curfews were imposed in the flood-affected cities.
As for the efforts of the local authorities to combat flood consequences, Libya's western-based government in Tripoli has reportedly sent a plane with 14 tonnes of medical supplies, body bags and more than 80 doctors and paramedics.
International community also did not stand aside. France expressed condolences to the families of flood victims in Libya and is mobilizing funds to provide humanitarian aid to the country, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.

"My solidarity with the Libyan people who are suffering terrible floods. France presents its condolences to the families of the victims and is mobilizing resources to provide emergency assistance," Macron said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Furthermore, President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan wished a "speedy recovery" from the inflicted damage.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic flooding in Libya. The people of the UAE extend their sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, and we wish a speedy recovery to all those that were injured," the leader stated on X

In addition, the United States will send humanitarian aid to Libya to eliminate the consequences of floods, the US special envoy for Libya, Ambassador Richard Norland said.

"Today the US Embassy has issued an official declaration of humanitarian need in response to the devastating floods in Libya. The declaration of humanitarian need will authorize initial funding that the United States will provide in support of relief efforts in Libya. [...] In addition, we have been contacted by many Libyan Americans anxious to make private contributions to relief efforts, and we will work with Libyan authorities to direct those resources to where they are most needed," he was quoted by the US Embassy in Libya on X.

Moreover, Italy is ready to provide the country hit by the natural disaster with humanitarian aid, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Tuesday.

"I called the Ambassador in Tripoli to get the latest updates. The Italian Government immediately responds to requests for support for the flood in eastern Libya: an advanced assessment team is already departing coordinated by ours," the minister noted on X.