Disasters & Accidents

Cyclone Daniel death toll in Libya nears 11,500, over 10,000 remain missing

Geneva/Tripoli (EFE).- The provisional death toll from the floods in Libya caused by the Cyclone Daniel has now climbed to 11,300 in the eastern city of Derna, the United Nations said on Sunday based on the figures provided by the Libyan Red Cross, even as the Tripoli-based government – one of the two regimes that rule over the country – has announced relief measures.

The number of missing persons remains at around 10,100 according to the latest update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

According to UN authorities, around 170 people have been killed in other cities apart from Derna, which was flattened after two nearby dams collapsed due to flooding.

Derna, a city of around 100,000 people situated on the Libyan coast about 300 kilometers east of Benghazi, may have lost up to 20 percent of its population in the disaster, according to the data on deaths and disappearances offered by the Red Cross and the UN.

Meanwhile Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, the prime minister of the Tripoli-based government of national unity (GNU), on Sunday announced a series of measures for the cyclone-affected population.

Dbeibeh pledged to pay a month’s worth of additional wages to officials in the affected cities, accelerate the disbursal of the fourth quarter of family-aid for women and children and prioritize the residents of eastern Libya, according to a GNU statement.

As part of the aid effort, the justice ministry is preparing a database of all citizens, according to the de-facto Libyan government backed by the international community.

As part of preliminary data shared by the committee to assess damage, the total area worst-affected by floods is spread over six square kilometers, in which more than 6,100 buildings were destroyed, 1,500 were partially damaged and 890 completely flattened.

The national power company has managed to repair 90 percent of the damaged power stations and communications have been restored in more than 60 cities and villages where network had been cut off.

The collapse of the dams triggered a massive surge in the river that passes through Derna, destroying everything in its wake, according to the humanitarian organizations working on the ground, which have called the situation a “catastrophe of epic proportions.”

Multiple corpses are being recovered every day from the city’s beaches, having been carried to the sea, according to the OCHA report, which warns that the city lacks access to drinking water and around 55 children fell sick after drinking contaminated water. EFE


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