Fears of up to 20,000 dead after catastrophic Libya flood

Tripoli , Libya

The mayor of the eastern Libya port city of Derna estimates between 18,000 and 20,000 people have died in flooding.

Abdulmenam Al-Ghaithi told al-Arabiya TV his estimate was based on the number of districts completely destroyed when two dams burst.

More than 5,000 people are known to have died, and at least 10,000 are missing.

Streets were swept away in the torrents and bodies are being recovered from the sea.

The two rival governments in Libya are co-ordinating relief efforts for flood victims.

Rescue teams have arrived from countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

A public health lecturer at Benghazi University in eastern Libya, who is helping co-ordinate aid, has told the BBC that people have taken the initiative to organise themselves to collect and distribute aid.

Jaser Asweri says they are providing food and non-food items including medications and sending them on a daily and hourly basis to the worst-hit area of Derna.

“It is something that you can see also if you go from Benghazi or from wherever you go from to Derna, you can see the situation is very crowded because everyone is going there,” he says.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the floods, and rival administrations in the country have been working together with international rescue and aid groups.

Source : BBC News

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