Libya’s Attorney General kick-starts probe into ruptured Derna dams

The Libyan Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, has announced the initiation of investigations into the bursting of two dams in Derna, eastern Libya, to unveil the reasons that could have been triggered by “corruption and negligence.”

Al-Sour vowed in a statement to Libyan News Agency (LANA) in Derna on Friday that bring to justice anyone found guilty of wrongdoings. He said charges against possible violators could only be made after the probe had ended.

Reports from Derna said that the two dams wer full before Storm Daniel hit the city, adding that the dams had not been maintained for the last 20 years, which added to their vulnerability.

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.

The mayor of Derna, Abdelmonem Al-Ghaithi, 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. However, other estimates, especially the statement of the Health Minister of the east-based government, Othman Abduljalil, said the official records in eastern Libya had registered 3,166 deaths up until September 15.

The Libyan Attorney General added to LANA that there was no serious threat posed by the decomposed bodies in Derna, confirming the availability of morgues to store bodies for forensics and identification through DNA samples ahead of burial.


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