Floods caused by severe storms in Libya on Tuesday caused dams to burst, destroying buildings, destroying up to a quarter of the eastern city of Derna and leaving at least 10,000 people missing.
Derna alone already contains more than 1,000 bodies, and authorities expects the death toll to be much higher after Storm Daniel barreled through the Mediterranean into a country torn apart by more than a decade of conflict.
“I’m back from Derna. Very deplorable.” “There are bodies everywhere, in the sea, in the valleys, under buildings,” Hishem Abu Tikioat, minister of civil aviation and member of the government’s emergency committee for the east, told Reuters by phone.
“The number of bodies recovered in Derna is more than 1,000,” he said.
“It is no exaggeration to say that 25% of the city has been destroyed. So many buildings have collapsed.”
The number of missing people has increased to over 2,500.
A Reuters reporter who was on his way to Derna, a coastal city of about 125,000 people, when he saw overturned vehicles, fallen trees and abandoned, flooded homes on the side of the road.