Derna Mayor Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi has raised alarm that the devastating floods in Derna, eastern Libya, may result in a death toll ranging from 18,000 to 20,000 within the Derna region alone, considering the extensive damage across multiple districts in the city.
He was speaking to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.
Derna was home to about one lakh people and many of its multistory buildings on the banks of the riverbed collapsed, with people, their homes and cars vanishing into the raging waters.
Official reports indicate that over 5,000 people have already lost their lives, with an additional 10,000 people reported as missing in Libya. Bodies continue to be discovered along the shores.
The Libyan Presidential Council has declared the cities of Derna, Shahat and Al-Bayda in Cyrenaica disaster zones and requested international support to confront the effects of the floods caused by the storm.
United Nations aid chief Martin Griffiths posted on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that emergency teams are being mobilised to provide assistance on the ground in response to the devastating impact of StormDaniel in eastern Libya. In his tweet, Griffiths stated, “I am allocating $10 million from UNCERF to swiftly support people affected by the floods. We stand with the people of Libya at this difficult time.”
Following Sunday’s devastating floods, internet and telecommunications services were disrupted in many areas. However, Libya’s state-owned telecom company, the Libyan Post Telecommunications and Information Technology Company, reported on September 12 that services have been restored in numerous regions.