- Last week, some dams near Derna collapsed during a Mediterranean storm and sent devastating waves of water into the Libyan city.
- While government officials and humanitarian organizations have released conflicting statistics, the Libyan Red Crescent has reported that the death toll from the massive flooding in Derna has reached 11,000, with another 10,000 missing.
- To prevent the spread of a possible disease epidemic, Libya has divided the city of Derna into four sections.
The prime minister of Libya’s eastern government said on Tuesday that authorities had divided the flood-hit city of Derna into four sections to create buffers in case of disease outbreaks, a day after thousands of angry protesters called for the city to be quickly rebuilt.
Last week, two dams collapsed during Mediterranean storm Daniel, sending a wall of water gushing through Derna. Government officials and humanitarian organizations have given death tolls ranging from about 4,000 to 11,000.
“Now the affected areas are completely isolated, the armed forces and the government have started to create a buffer against the fear of the spread of diseases or epidemics,” Prime Minister Osama Hamad said in a telephone interview with Saudi television network Al-Arabiya. No further details were given.
SEARCH scrambles to recover bodies in LIBYA as flood death toll hits 5,100
According to local media, the internet was cut in the east of the country on Tuesday morning.
On Monday, the United Nations warned that an outbreak of the disease could create “a second catastrophic crisis”.
Libyan protesters gathered in the center of Derna on Monday in the first mass demonstration since the flooding. Outside the city’s al-Shabana mosque, thousands called for a swift investigation into the destruction, urgent rebuilding of the city and other demands.
On Monday night, the city’s former mayor, Abdel-Moneim al-Gaithi, said his house was set on fire by protesters. Prosecutors opened an investigation Saturday into the collapse of the two dams, built in the 1970s, as well as the allocation of maintenance funds for them. That same day al-Gaithi was suspended pending an investigation.
Many of the city’s residents see politicians as the architects of the crisis. The country has been divided between rival administrations since 2014. Both are backed by international protectors and armed militias whose influence in the country has grown since a NATO-backed Arab Spring uprising ousted authoritarian leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. .
EASTERN LIBYA FEAR 2,000 DEAD AFTER SEVERE FLOODINGODING
Both authorities have deployed humanitarian teams in the city, but are struggling to respond to the large-scale destruction. The recovery operation, aided by international teams, was not well coordinated and residents say the distribution of aid was uneven.
Conflicting death tolls and statistics have been released by various official agencies.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Bashir Omar, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said on Tuesday that search and rescue teams were still pulling bodies from under the rubble of the damaged buildings and from the sea. He told The Associated Press that the victims are “in the thousands” but did not give a specific tally of the bodies recovered, explaining that there are many groups involved in collecting them.
The Libyan Red Crescent said last week that at least 11,300 people had been killed and an additional 10,000 were missing. After earlier reporting the same death toll, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs now reports much lower numbers, around 4,000 people killed and 9,000 missing.