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Libya Flood Update: Death toll reaches 11,300; in need of medical aid to curb cholera

September 15, 2023 4:41 PM IST

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In Libya, the death toll in country’s coastal city of Derna has risen to 11,300 while another 10,000 are still missing.

According to the Libyan International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the figure is expected to grow as the recovery effort continues and more bodies are retrieved from the mud. Meanwhile, help is still needed to aid the rescue operation.

United Nations Aid Chief Martin Griffiths on Friday (September 15) said that Libya needed equipment to find people trapped sludge and damaged buildings after floods that have killed thousands, as well as primary health care to prevent a cholera outbreak among survivors.

Martin Griffiths told a U.N. briefing in Geneva that the U.N. humanitarian office had sent a disaster coordination team of 15 people to Libya who had been redeployed from Morocco which suffered an earthquake last week.

“Derna, a city of more than 100,000 people, 900,000 people affected and this is on top of the situation in Libya where 300,000 people in Libya already needed humanitarian aid. Now, we and other agencies were already present in Libya for the humanitarian that’s been happening there for some years, we have sent in from OCHA, from my office, from Geneva here, a U.N. disaster coordination team, 15 people, who went to Morocco and then redeployed to Libya,” he said.

Swathes of Derna, the centerpoint of the destruction in the country’s east, were obliterated by flooding on Sunday night (September 10), bringing down buildings while families were asleep.

Griffiths said that a suggestion by the mayor of Derna to create a maritime corridor to deliver aid could be a viable option given that the city is on the Mediterranean Sea.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other aid groups on Friday called on authorities in Libya to stop burying flood victims in mass graves after a U.N. report showed that more than 1,000 people had so far been buried in that manner since the country was hit by floods.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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