At least 11,300 people are now known to have died and 10,100 people remain missing in the city of Derna, the hardest hit by Storm Daniel, which struck the east of Libya on 10 September, the UN has reported.
The most recent official death toll, as provided by the health minister of the eastern-based administration, Othman Abdeljalil, stands at 3,166. However, there is a significant discrepancy in the estimates of lives lost, with a UN report released on Sunday revealing much higher figures. According to the report, in the city of Derna alone, the number of deaths has surged to 11,300.
As search efforts persist along the coast, the loss of life continues to escalate. On Saturday, Maltese rescue teams discovered the remains of approximately 400 individuals on a beach.
The International Organisation for Migration reported that a minimum of 40,000 individuals have been displaced in northeastern Libya. The organisation has cautioned that the actual number is likely to be higher due to challenges in reaching the most severely affected areas.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported that the flood disaster has resulted in a minimum of 170 casualties in other regions of eastern Libya. They have also noted ongoing search and rescue efforts, with concerns that the death toll may increase: ‘These figures are expected to rise in the coming days and weeks as search-and-rescue teams tirelessly work to locate survivors’.
After his visit to the city of Derna, the area most severely affected by the flood, the UN Special Envoy for Libya Abdoulaye Bathily described the situation there as deplorable. ‘This crisis is beyond Libya’s capacity to manage, it goes beyond politics and borders’ he said on his social media account.
African Union Commission Chairman Musa Faki Mohammed has urged both member states and the international community to promptly intensify their humanitarian aid initiatives to assist the flood victims in Libya.