Local authorities fear that a health crisis will develop due to the high number of deaths lying outdoors, the lack of drinking water or other factors.
Apocalyptic images in Derna. The city hardest hit by Cyclone Daniel in Libya registers more than 30,000 displaced people and more than 5,000 dead. Nationwide, Daniel has claimed the lives of at least 11,300 people and more than 10,000 are still missing.
Libyan authorities now fear that a disease outbreak will add to the country’s woes.
The coastal town of Derna, the fourth largest with 120,000 inhabitants, was until now inaccessible by land after torrential rains caused two dams, located a few kilometers from inhabited areas, to collapse, dumping 33 million liters of water into the center of this town, which dragged entire neighborhoods and the four bridges that cross the Derna River into the sea.
According to the UN, more than 250,000 Libyans urgently depend on humanitarian aid.
“Entire neighborhoods have been wiped off the map. Entire families, taken by surprise, were swept away by the deluge of water. Thousands of people have died, tens of thousands have been left homeless and many more remain unaccounted for,” declared the secretary. United Nations Deputy General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths.
The UN has immediately released ten million dollars from its emergency fund to bring vital supplies to flood victims in Libya and prevent a health crisis that could be caused by the high number of deaths lying in the open, the lack of drinking water or other factors.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated this Thursday that the tragedy could have been avoided if the country had better early warning systems and had been able to order evacuations.
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