It is an incredibly horrifying scene as volunteers dig mass graves to bury thousands of dead bodies killed by the floods that swept through the eastern Libyan city of Derna earlier last week.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the death toll has risen to about 11,300, and that over 10,000 people were still missing.
“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.
However, the Libyan Red Crescent, which was cited in the UN report on Sunday, disputed the figure.
The International Organisation of Migration puts the number of people in eastern Libya displaced by the floods at 38,000 – 30,000 in Derna alone.
Buildings and cars were swept by the raging floods. Videos of the flood-ravaged scene show piles of muddy debris.
According to a Lybian health official, more than 2,500 people were buried in the first three days after the disaster, in a bid to avoid sread of infections and diseases, as the bodies were already decomposing and the city’s hospitals and morgues were overwhelmed, and unable to cope with the influx of the dead.
A CNN report, said the volunteers dug more mass graves anticipation of more dead bodies. A great number of the dead bodies were recovered from the sea and debris.
The disaster was said to have occured when two dams upstream from Derna burst under the pressure of torrential rains from the hurricane-strength called Storm Daniel.
The dams were said to have been constructe to protect the port city of Derna that accommates about 100,000 people after it was hit by a heavy flooding in the mid-20th century.
The recent disaster has thrown up a lot of humanitarian challenges with international aid to arriving from the United Nations, Europe and the Middle East, offering some relief to the thousands of survivors.
The Health Minister of Libya’s eastern government has announced that four Greek rescue workers were killed in an accident on the road to Derna.
Fifteen of the aid workers who were on their way to join teams already on the ground from France and Italy reportedly, got injured.
The aid includes essential medicines and emergency surgical supplies, as well as body bags to allow corpses to be moved.
Also, tents, blankets, carpets, hygiene kits and food have been flown in, along with heavy machinery to help clear the debris.
OCHA had last week appealed for. $71 million donation for Lybia flood victims.
Head of OCHA, and UN relief chief, Martin Griffiths said the money is needed to respond to the “needs of 250,000 people targeted out of the 884,000 people estimated to be in need.
“Getting lifesaving supplies to people, prevent a secondary health crisis, and swiftly restore some kind of normality must override any other concern at this difficult time for Libya.”
Support Investigative Journalism and Mentorship
Courageous Journalism of Truth,Transparency and Development is in the DNA of Prime Business Africa; By donating as little as N1000 or $1 today, you are helping to keep credible journalism and life-changing information free for all.