PRO/MENA> Floods – Libya: Darnah increased risk of infectious disease, fatal, alert / الف يضانات-ليبيا : وفايا ت ، زيادة خطر الأمرا ض المعدية ، انذار

FLOODS – LIBYA: [DARNAH] INCREASED RISK OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE, FATAL, ALERT / الفيضانات-ليبيا : وفايات ، زيادة خطر الأمراض المعدية ، انذار

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International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 11 Sep 2023
Source: Reuters [abridged, edited]

Authorities in eastern Libya said at least 2000 people were killed and thousands more were missing after a massive flood ripped through the city of Derna [also spelled Darnah] following a heavy storm and rain.

Ahmed Mismari, the spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA) that controls eastern Libya, said in a televised news conference that the disaster came after dams above Derna had collapsed, “sweeping whole neighbourhoods with their residents into the sea.”

Mismari put the number of missing at 5000-6000.

Earlier on Monday [11 Sep 2023], the head of the Red Crescent aid group in the region had said Derna’s death toll was at 150 and expected to hit 250. Reuters could not immediately verify either figure.

After pummelling Greece last week, Storm Daniel swept in over the Mediterranean on Sunday [10 Sep 2023], swamping roads and destroying buildings in Derna, and hitting other settlements along the coast, including Libya’s 2nd biggest city of Benghazi.

Videos of Derna showed a wide torrent running through the city centre where a far narrower waterway had previously flowed. Ruined buildings stood on either side.

Eastern Libya’s Almostkbal TV broadcasted footage that showed people stranded on the roofs of their vehicles calling for help and waters washing away cars.

“The missing are in the thousands, and the dead exceed 2000,” Osama Hamad [head of Libya’s eastern government] told al-Masar TV. “Entire neighbourhoods in Derna have disappeared, along with their residents … swept away by water.”

Mismari said 7 members of the LNA had died in the flood.

[Byline: Ayman Werfali]

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