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Death Toll For Libya’s Flooding Surpasses 5,000

Death Toll For Libya's Flooding Surpasses 5,000

The death toll for the City of Derna’s flooding in Libya has surpassed 5000 and is still counting. Local authorities have said that the numbers are expected to rise. 

Aid workers who managed to reach the city, which was cut off Sunday night when flash floods washed away most of the access roads, were in disbelief as they searched through different rays of destroyed homes looking for missing bodies. 

At the time of reporting, thousands were still missing and tens of thousands had lost their homes. 

“Bodies are everywhere, inside houses, in the streets, at sea. Wherever you go, you find dead men, women, and children,” Emad al-Falah, an aid worker from Benghazi, said over the phone from Derna. “Entire families were lost.”

The damage to the roads is so bad that the city is almost inaccessible for humanitarian aid workers, the International Organization for Migration said.

Bridges over the river Derna that link the city’s eastern and western parts have also collapsed, according to the U.N. migration agency. 

Libya is a country divided by rival governments, one in the east, the other in the west, and the result has been neglect of infrastructure in many areas.

“The city of Derna was submerged by waves 7 meters (23 feet) high that destroyed everything in their path,” Yann Fridez, head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Libya, told broadcaster France24. “The human toll is enormous.”

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