More Than 5,200 Believed Dead, 10,000 Missing after Flooding in Libya

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A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior says more than 5,200 people have died in floods across eastern Libya.

Another 10,000 people are thought to be missing in the floods, Tamer Ramadan, Libya envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said, according to ABC News.

“The death toll is huge,” he added.

In the hardest-hit city of Derna, some 700 people were confirmed dead, and workers uncovered more than 1,500 bodies in the devastation of the flooding. Another 1,200 were injured in a storm named Daniel.

“We issued immediate instructions to use all our capabilities, provide the needed support of all urgent medical equipment, operate medical convoys, and to allocate shelters to those who lost their homes,” said Gen Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan military group.

“We have directed the government to form a specialized committee to assess the damage, instantly begin the reconstruction of roads to facilitate transportation, restore the electricity and to take all immediate and needed measures in that regards,” he continued.

In the city of Bayda, some 16 inches of rain were recorded within 24 hours.

“I am deeply saddened by the severe impact of [Storm] Daniel on the country and have tasked an emergency response team to prepare to support local authorities and partners in the region,” Georgette Gagnon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Libya, wrote in a post on social media on Monday. “I call on all local, national and international partners to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to those affected at this difficult time.”

President Joe Biden and his wife sent their “deepest condolences” to the Libyan families whose family and friends were killed in the floods. The president said the U.S. would be sending emergency funds to the country.

U.S. Special Envoy to Libya Ambassador Richard Norland said the American embassy has declared an official “humanitarian need” in response to the storm.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/KSwinicki

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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