Geneva, Switzerland, Sep 12 (EFE).- Some 10,000 people are missing in Libya, the Red Cross said Tuesday, following devastating floods brought by Storm Daniel.
More than 2,000 people have died, according to authorities in eastern Libya.
“The death toll is huge, it might reach to thousands,” Tamer Ramadan, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), told a press conference, adding that officials on the ground were expected to provide specific tallies in the coming hours.
“What we can confirm now (is) that thousands of people have lost their lives, thousands of people have lost their homes, thousands of families are stranded or lost,” Ramadan said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent a first shipment of 40 tons of aid that should arrive shortly in the affected area.
“We are doing everything we can to provide first aid, evacuate the wounded, offer psychosocial support and other humanitarian services, but the needs are gigantic and far exceed the capacity of the Libyan Red Crescent and the government itself,” explained Ramadan.
“They are doing their best in providing first aid, evacuations, psychosocial support, and other humanitarian services, however the humanitarian needs are huge and much more beyond the abilities of the Libyan Red Crescent and even beyond the abilities of the government,” Ramadan explained.
Communications are a major problem due to the lack of electricity, and mobile phone and internet services have been cut off in the areas affected by the storm.
The coastal city of Derna, the fourth most populated in the country with about 120,000 residents at the time of the natural disaster, has been the worst affected by the storm and massive flooding.
The head of the government in eastern Libya, Osama Hammad, on Monday evening described the situation in Derna as “catastrophic”, saying that “entire neighborhoods” have been swept away by the floods.
Rainfall exceeded 400 milliliters per hour, a figure that had not been recorded in the last four decades according to the National Center for Meteorology.
Derna municipal council member Ahmed Amdur called for “urgent” international intervention to “save the city.” EFE