The death toll from devastating floods in Libya’s eastern coastal city of Derna yesterday rose to over 6,000, according to local officials.
The figure is expected to rise as recovery operations continue in the city pummeled by Storm Daniel.
The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration in Libya said over 30,000 people were displaced.
This is just as authorities are racing to bury the deceased as bodies pile up in the streets of Derna devastated by flooding after a torrential downpour smashed through two dams, washing homes into the sea.
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Saadeddin Abdul Wakil, health ministry’s undersecretary of the Unity Government in Tripoli, one of two rival governments operating in the country, confirmed the over 6,000 casualty figure.
He said: “Morgues are full in hospitals that remain out of service despite the desperate need to treat survivors of the disaster, according to staff. In Egypt, the government buried 87 Egyptian victims who died in Libya, according to the country’s emigration ministry.
“Around 10,000 more are missing, potentially either swept out to sea or buried beneath rubble that’s strewn throughout the city once home to over 100,000 people.”
Meanwhile, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday assured Libya of Nigeria’s unwavering solidarity and goodwill during these trying times.
Tinubu, in a statement by his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, commiserated with all families who had lost loved ones in what he called “monumental disaster”.
He said “this disheartening” loss of lives, homes, livelihoods and critical infrastructure remained a shared grief that further united the people of both nations.
“Nigeria is ready to provide all necessary support to assist the Libyan people in overcoming this harrowing tragedy,” the president added.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, said the Libya disaster happened while the Ummah was yet to recover from the shock of the earthquake in Morocco.
Deputy Secretary-General of the council, Prof. Salisu Shehu, in a statement, said the council beseeched the Ummah in Nigeria and all over the world, all global humanitarian agencies, supranational governments, organisations and well-meaning individuals to assist Libya “during this trying period.”
“The council sympathizes with His Excellency, Mohammed al-Menfi, the government and the people of the State of Libya over the unfortunate disaster.”