Evacuation of Derna ‘likely’ amid health risks, says Libyan Red Cr...

The evacuation of the eastern city of Derna following last week’s deadly floods is likely, the head of the Libyan Red Crescent said on Monday. 

“The evacuating of Derna city remains a possible option depending on the health situation in the area,” Abdul Salam al-Hajj told media.

“There are real health risks as unburied corpses and contaminated water,” he added.

Derna was hardest hit by deadly flooding caused by Mediterranean storm Daniel last Sunday, causing the city’s dams to burst, washing away homes and people.

Thousands are believed to have been killed in the floods, though Libyan authorities have not yet released an exact death toll.

According to the UN Humanitarian Office (OCHA), at least 3,958 people have died across Libya due to flooding, revising its previous death toll of 11,300.

On Saturday, East Libya-based Health Minister Osama Hamad said that 3,252 corpses had been buried so far.

More than 40,000 people have been displaced across Libya’s northeastern areas by the deadly floods, the UN office said.

On Saturday, Haidar al-Sayeh, head of the Tripoli-based National Center for Disease Control, declared a state of emergency for one year in all the eastern regions that were struck by floods.

Al-Hajj said Libyan medics are still facing difficulties reaching flood-affected areas amid a lack of logistics.

“The Red Crescent teams are working to distribute aid to those affected, rescue the injured, and recover the dead bodies,” he added.

Al-Hajj stressed that the Libyan Red Crescent does not have an exact death toll in Libya following the floods.

“Around 20,000 families have been displaced by the floods,” he added.

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