Derna mayor: Death toll could be between 18,000 and 20,000

The mayor of Derna, Abdelmonem Al-Ghaithi, has told Libya Alahrar TV that the number of deaths could reach as high as 18,000 to 20,000 based on the destroyed buildings and houses in the ravaged city.

Storm Daniel hit eastern coastal cities, especially Derna, Al-Bayda and Al-Marj, on Saturday. Two dams collapsed in Derna valley, washing away entire neighborhoods and killing entire families. The flood torrent obliterated around a quarter or the Mediterranean city of Derna.

According to reports from activists in eastern Libya, especially those hailing from Derna, the city has a population of about 88,000 to 100,000, which makes the number of people who have perished amount to over 20% of the population.

On the services’ level in Derna, electricity, Internet, and phone calls’ networks have been restored since Wednesday evening, allowing people a break from the dark tragedy that has befallen their city, and making it a bit more comfortable to deliver much-needed aids to certain areas but not all of Derna.

Meanwhile, both the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, and the Head of the Presidential Council, Mohammed Menfi, asked the Attorney General’s Office to open an investigation into the negligence that led to the collapsing of the two dams in Derna.

Dbeibah also announced on Wednesday that a ship with a capacity of 700 rooms headed to Derna coast to be docked in there to give shelter to the displaced locals and volunteers. He also declared a 10-day holiday in all schools across the country in solidarity with the disaster areas.


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