News   /   North Africa

Death toll from Libya floods tops 6,000; 10,000 missing

Picture provided on September 13, 2023 shows the aftermath of hugely-deadly floods that have hit the northeastern Libyan city of Derna. (Photo by AP)

The death toll from floods that have hit the northeastern Libyan city of Derna and its surrounding communities has surpassed 6,000.

The fatalities were reported on Wednesday by Saadeddin Abdul Wakil, health ministry undersecretary of the Unity Government in the capital Tripoli, one of two rival governments operating in the country.

Derna Mayor Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi, however, told the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television that the estimated number of deaths in the city could reach 18,000 to 20,000 based on the number of districts destroyed by the flood.

The calamity struck Derna and the villages around it on Sunday after heavy rainfall from Mediterranean storm Daniel caused two dams to collapse in the city.

Authorities around the country have also reported that some 10,000 people remain unaccounted for in the aftermath of the disaster.

The United Nations migration agency, the International Organization for Migration, said at least 30,000 people had been displaced.

The flooding has also devastated whole swathes of the coastal city.

Attention has now been driven towards a third dam, located between Derna and the nearby city of Benghazi, which officials reportedly warned was in need of emergency maintenance to prevent another catastrophic rupture.

Rescue teams have arrived from Egypt, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Qatar, al-Ghaithi said.

"We actually need teams specialized in recovering bodies," the mayor said. "I fear that the city will be infected with an epidemic due to the large number of bodies under the rubble and in the water," he added.

On Tuesday, Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi voiced the country's readiness to send relief aid and provide medical assistance and supplies to Libya over the deadly floods in the North African country.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku