Rival governments in Libya are working together to coordinate aid to the worst-affected areas after catastrophic flooding, the United Nations said. The mayor of Derna, which is the most affected, warns against the spread of the disease due to the thousands of corpses on the streets.
Data on victims and missing persons differ between sources, according to the ministers of the internationally unrecognized government in the east of the country, in Derna alone, more than 5,300 people have died, later the spokesperson of the Ministry of the Interior of this government spoke of the figure as 3,200, of which 1,100 are still missing. failed to identify. Mayor of Derna Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi told Al Arabiya television that the number of dead could reach between 18,000 and 20,000, he gave the estimate based on the number of wiped out neighborhoods destroyed by the water. Libyan officials say 10,000 people are still missing, a UN agency estimates 5,000 are missing.
“We actually need teams to pick up the bodies. I’m afraid that because of the many corpses in the water and mud, diseases will start to spread throughout the city,” said the mayor.
“Both governments addressed the international community with a request for help,” said Tauhid Pasha of the International Organization for Migration, explaining that the western government has extended the request for aid to the entire country and is coordinating with the eastern government. “The challenge at the moment is how to organize international aid to meet the needs and demands of governments.At the same time, Pasha said that aid must be greatly accelerated, and for this they need money.
As is well known, Libya has been politically divided since the overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was removed from power and killed following a NATO military intervention in 2011, with the western part of the country controlled by an internationally recognized government led by Abdul Hamid Dbeihahand the eastern part by members of the LNA, which is not recognized by the international community as a legitimate authority, and is officially led by the prime minister Osama Hamad, in fact, everything is pulled by the general Khalifa Haftar. He also received the Egyptian military delegation that came to help after the floods.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk he emphasized that all political groups must participate in eliminating the consequences. “This is a time for unity with purpose.”
Rescuers and firefighters from Egypt, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Italy and Spain are currently helping in Derna, which was the most affected by the floods. Turkey will send a ship with equipment for two Polish hospitals and 148 medical workers. Time is running out to rescue any survivors, a spokesman for the Red Cross and Red Crescent said Tommaso Della Longa. “Unfortunately, we are aware that the window of time is closing, but there is still hope.”
52-year-old Osama Al Husadi has been tirelessly searching for his wife and five children since the disaster. “I’m looking for them on foot. I’ve visited all the hospitals and schools, unfortunately without success,” he is desperate. He was working on the fateful night, his wife was at home with the children. “We lost at least 50 members on my father’s side of the family.”
On the beach in Derna, there is a garbage dump full of clothes, furniture, toys and other items that were washed away from homes by the rising water.