38,640 people displaced in Libya floods as water contamination, power outages disrupt daily life

Tripoli, Sep 16 (UNI) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday that more than 38,640 people have been displaced in the most affected areas in northeastern Libya after heavy floods triggered by Mediterranean storm Daniel swept the region.

The IOM said in a statement that 2,217 buildings were destroyed alone in Derna, the port city that has been hit hardest by Libya’s worst floods in decades.

Also on Friday, Libya’s Housing and Utilities Projects Implementation Agency revealed that the floods had damaged about 5,000 homes. It added that the floods have also ruined water supply networks, leaving people in the affected areas with a serious water shortage of drinking water.

The floods have so far claimed at least 5,500 lives and left another 10,000 missing, official statistics show.

The security services on Friday continued the mass burial of the retrieved bodies in Derna after taking their photos, and the city’s public prosecutor is overseeing the collection of DNA samples from the victims so that they could be identified by their relatives later, local sources told Xinhua.

Steel Cavillo, a Spanish humanitarian assistance worker, expressed horror at the extent of the destruction in Derna and said the hope to find more survivors is fading.

As the bodies in the stricken areas start to decompose, Haider al-Sayeh, director of the National Center for Disease Control, on Friday called for the immediate evacuation of the areas affected by the floods.

Al-Sayah told Xinhua that 55 cases of water contamination have been reported in the Derna after drinking water was mixed with sewage water.

Osama Mohamed, a resident from Derna, said that 40 percent of the city has no electricity.

“The telecommunications are weak, there is no drinking water, and only two bakeries in the city are working. The power generators need fuel, and it is difficult to get medication for people with chronic diseases,” said Sulaiman al-Mabruk, a Libyan volunteer.

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