Confusion has arisen about the death toll from the disaster in Libya. Earlier today, the Libyan Red Crescent reported that the number of victims had risen to more than 11,000. According to the sister organization of the Red Cross, the number of missing was 20,000. But later in the day the Red Crescent denied on X, formerly Twitter, that there were 11,000 deaths.
The Red Cross itself also contradicted the Red Crescent’s report. Nevertheless, this number is reported by international media such as the BBC, AP news agency and Al Arabiya news channel, all of which cite the Red Crescent as a source. AP has spoken to the secretary general of the aid organization.
In any case, it is still expected that the number of victims of the floods will rise sharply.
At least 2,000 bodies have been washed into the Mediterranean Sea with the swirling rainwater, reports Al Arabiya news channel. The question is whether all the dead can be recovered.
The Red Cross in Libya warns that explosives are also scattered across the flooded area. These remnants of the years of civil war are said to have been washed away with the water.
The information about the humanitarian disaster comes in fragmented. For example, Libya’s two rival governments maintain different death tolls. The eastern Libyan government, in whose area the disaster occurred, speaks of at least 5,500 deaths. Authorities of the internationally recognized government in Tripoli report 7,000 deaths.
The mayor of the hard-hit coastal city of Derna fears that 20,000 may be dead. Many thousands of victims’ bodies have already been buried in mass graves.
About 884,000 Libyans have been affected by the disaster, UN aid agency OCHA estimates. According to the organization, approximately a quarter of a million people need urgent help. Based on satellite images, OCHA reports that a third of Derna may have been destroyed and more than 2,200 buildings affected.
Help is on its way
Aid supplies enter Libya from the international community. Due to the scale of the destruction, Derna is difficult to reach, but aid workers and relief supplies have arrived in the past 48 hours, Reuters news agency reports.
EU countries have also offered help to Libya. The Netherlands wants to send a team of IT specialists, logistics experts and surveyors. As soon as this offer is accepted by Libya, the team can leave. Italy has offered to send a diving team and the French have offered to send a number of healthcare providers.
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