Libya death toll at 11,300 — UN

The OCHA report says the number of fatalities may rise as 10,100 people remain missing

A United Nations report released on Sunday put the death toll from the dams burst in the eastern Libyan city of Derna at 11,300, more than three times the figure from the government’s health ministry.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs cited the Libyan Red Crescent for its figures, which includes 10,100 people still missing from the tsunami-like devastation that occured one week ago.

“These figures are expected to rise in the coming days and weeks as search-and-rescue crews work tirelessly to find survivors,” the OCHA report said.

The health minister of divided Libya’s eastern-based administration, Othman Abdeljalil, counted 3,166 fatalities.

At least 40,000 people have been displaced across northeastern Libya, according to the International Organization for Migration, which cautioned the actual number is likely higher given the difficulty accessing the worst-affected areas.

Two dams upstream from Derna burst a week ago under the pressure of torrential rains from the hurricane-strength Storm Daniel. The torrent swept everything before it as it rushed towards the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, foreign emergency workers from the United Nations, Europe and the Middle East are arriving to help survivors and search for the missing.

A rescue crew from Malta’s Civil Protection Department discovered a beach strewn with dead bodies on Friday, the Times of Malta newspaper reported.

Libya is currently ruled by two rival administrations that have battled for power since Kadhafi’s ousting.

With tens of thousands of people displaced, aid organizations have warned of the risks posed by leftover landmines and other unexploded ordnance, some of which the UN said has been shifted by floodwaters into areas previously declared clear.

The risks of water-borne diseases such as cholera are also high, according to aid groups. The National Center for Disease Control reported that at least 55 children were poisoned as a result of drinking polluted water in Derna.


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