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Devastating Libya flood leaves 10,000 missing, 2,300 confirmed dead

Officials are digging through the rubble to find bodies and are using inflatable boats to retrieve them from the water.

September 12, 2023 10:30am

Updated: September 12, 2023 10:30am

Devastating floods in the eastern Libya city of Derna have left at least 2,300 people dead, officials said Tuesday, while 10,000 people have been reported missing.

At least 700 people have been buried so far, eastern Libya's health minister said, according to The Associated Press. The ambulance service for Derna placed the current death toll at 2,300, but the Libya envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Tamer Ramadan, said the toll is likely to be significantly higher.

Libya's flooding is "as devastating as the situation in Morocco," Ramadan said via videoconference from Tunisia during a U.N. briefing in Geneva, referring to the earthquake that struck central Morocco on Friday, killing more than 2,000 people.

Officials are digging through the rubble to find bodies and are using inflatable boats to retrieve them from the water in Derna.

The destruction in eastern Libya occurred when Mediterranean storm Daniel struck the coast and the dams outside of Derna collapsed. 

Immediately after the disaster, the approximately 90,000 residents of Derna were left on their own, as officials said they were unable to reach the city. Most of the country's eastern government had arrived by Tuesday.

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