African news. Ten thousand people are missing after unprecedented flooding in Libya as the extent of the damage to Derna, the port city where two dams burst over the weekend, became more clear.
Tamer Ramadan, the Libya envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, gave the figure at a UN briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, describing the death toll as “huge”.
Local media quoted Tariq al-Kharraz, a spokesman for the administration that controls the east of Libya, putting the number of dead at more than 5,200 people. Othman Abdel Jalil, the administration’s health minister, said he expected that number to double. “The number of missing people is in the thousands, and the number of dead is expected to reach 10,000,” he told Al-Massar TV channel.
Entire households have been washed away in Derna and more than 700 bodies have piled up in the cemetery waiting to be identified. Video footage circulating on social media showed people pleading for help and screaming as muddy water engulfed their homes. Other video captured torrents sweeping away cars on streets, which had turned into rivers.
The Norwegian Refugee Council said tens of thousands of people had been displaced with no prospect of going back home. Hundreds of bodies were piled up in cemeteries with few survivors able to identity them.
Video footage circulating on social media showed people pleading for help and screaming as muddy water engulfed their homes. Other video captured torrents sweeping away cars on streets, which had turned into rivers wrote Guardian.
Sondos Shuwaib, a local blogger, said she was in her home when suddenly she found herself torn away by the flood waters. In a harrowing account of the disaster posted online, she described seeing children and babies caught in the current. “There were corpses next to me, and corpses above me, and corpses beneath me,” she wrote.
Shuwaib eventually washed up in shallow waters and was taken to hospital.