Up to 2,000 feared drowned after Libyan city hit by ‘catastrophic’ storm floods.


PHOTO: Google.

Local leaders in eastern city of Derna say thousands missing after two ageing dams collapse overnight.

As many as 2,000 people may have been drowned after a powerful storm unleashed catastrophic floods in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, according to the head of one of the country’s two rival governments.

Speaking on Libyan network Almasar, Oussama Hamad, prime minister of the east-based government, reported “more than 2,000 dead and thousands missing” in the city of Derna alone, after torrential rains over the weekend brought by Mediterranean storm Daniel. No medical sources or emergency services have confirmed such figures.

The Red Crescent in Benghazi had put the death toll closer to just 250, but Derna, the worst-hit area, remained largely cut off with local leaders claiming the situation was “out of control and a catastrophe”.

A spokesperson for the Libyan army in the east, Maj Gen Ahmed Al-Mismari, suggested that as many as 5,000 to 6,000 were missing in the city, which has a population of 100,000.

The precise number dead is hard to gauge with communications down and administration hampered by a decade-long battle for power between two rival governments each backed by their own militias.

SOURCE: The Guardian.

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