The Libyan Attorney General has announced in a press conference in Tripoli that the number of deaths in Derna floods that is registered with the Libyan state authorities is 4.540. Al-Siddiq Al-Sour added that the deaths included foreign nationals.
Al-Sour added that evidence filed with the Attorney General’s Office found negligence in maintaining Derna’s two dams and neglect in responding to the recommendations for building a third dam in the city, saying that the disaster of the floods that ensued from the collapse of the ill-maintained dams following a day of stormwater coming from Storm Daniel could have been avoided if the recommendations – in place since 2003 – were materialized.
“The results of the investigation of the judiciary for the collapse of Derna dams were reached by 25 judicial experts and they all agreed with with previous studies on the fragility of the dams and the need for their maintenance.” Al-Sour added.
Regarding the Derna mayor, who has been imprisoned on charges of neglect regarding the warning about the dams’ possible collapse before Storm Daniel, and a number of officials at the Water Resources Authority and Dams Department in Derna, Al-Sour said they didn’t provide evidence about them not being responsible for the disaster.
The Libyan Attorney General added that all officials who have been working at dams departments across Libya since 2003 are responsible for the floods disaster – each to a different degree.
Storm Daniel and ensuing floods hit eastern coastal cities, especially Derna, Al-Bayda and Al-Marj, on September 10 and 11. Two dams collapsed in Derna valley – an area locally known as Wadi Derna -, washing away entire neighborhoods and killing a number of entire families. The flood torrent obliterated around a quarter or the Mediterranean city of Derna, leaving thousands dead and missing.