The death toll from the devastating floods in Libya has risen to around 11,300 in the city of Derna alone, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has announced. The office referred to the Red Crescent, which later denied this information.
“We are shocked that our name is associated with these numbers,” said the spokesperson of the Red Crescent in Libya Tavfik Shukri. He added that it only “increases the confusion and distress of the families of the missing”.
Figures on the number of dead vary from source to source. The health authorities in eastern Libya had previously announced that 3,166 people had died in Derna, and the local mayor said at the beginning of the week that the number of victims could be up to 20,000.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that they had already identified nearly 4,000 victims and that about 9,000 people were missing.
According to OCHA, which refers to the Libyan Red Crescent, 10,100 people are missing in Derna, and another 170 have been confirmed dead elsewhere in the country. At the same time, they expect that the number of deaths will increase, as rescue operations are still ongoing, reports the German news agency DPA.
Aid has so far been sent to the country by the EU, the USA, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries, including Russia. Moscow announced today that they had sent 35 doctors and humanitarian aid to eastern Libya. Before that, Russia is said to have already sent a mobile hospital with operating rooms and an intensive care unit to Libya, reports the French news agency AFP.
According to the WHO, 29 tons of medical equipment also arrived in the city of Benghazi, which is home to an internationally unrecognized government in the east.
Meanwhile, the western part of the country, which is ruled by an internationally recognized government based in Tripoli, was not so affected by the floods.
According to the International Organization for Migration, at least 40,000 people have been displaced by floods in northeastern Libya. The organization warns that the actual number is probably higher, as access to the most affected areas is still difficult.