In a significant shift in strategy, international and local search and rescue teams have redirected their efforts from land to sea, according to Walid Bobker, the media official of the Crisis Committee at the Ministry of Interior of the government designated by the House of Representatives (HoR).
Despite more than 10,000 people still missing, search operations on land have slowed down due to dwindling hopes of finding survivors. The majority of international rescue teams, equipped with tracking dogs and other ground-based technologies, have now departed, leaving only a handful behind.
The focus has now turned to the sea as floods have swept thousands of residents into the waters. However, the task is challenging due to the debris of buildings and cars submerged in the water.
Bobker highlighted two major obstacles complicating the sea search operations. Firstly, hundreds of rocky cavities, akin to caves known locally as water pits, are present. Secondly, the high salinity levels are causing rapid decomposition of bodies, making retrieval of the deceased increasingly difficult.
Despite these challenges, eight international search and rescue teams continue their operations in Derna. The city was severely hit by floods along with other eastern cities devastated by floods of Storm Daniel.