On Tuesday, the Spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), Brigadier General Ahmed Al-Mismari affirmed that international rescue teams are still operating in Derna. He confirmed that no journalists have been expelled from the city.
During a press conference on the developments in eastern Libya, Al-Mismari said that more than 10,000 non-commissioned officers and soldiers are participating in the search and rescue operations
He added that the official documented statistics of confirmed deaths stood at 3,332 to date. He noted that several. unidentified bodies have been buried.
“The Public Prosecution and the Ministry of Health are photographing the bodies before burial, to identify them through their families,” he clarified.
Al-Mismari mentioned that the entire Hay Al-Bilad neighbourhood has been swept away by floods, and is currently submerged underwater.
He confirmed that the floods have caused Libya to “lose numerous experts, including doctors, engineers, and others. In the city of Samitah alone, 35 engineers and technicians perished.”
Notably, Al-Mismari said earlier that the storm Daniel affected over 1.2 million people in eastern Libya.
In a press conference held in Benghazi, Al-Mismari stated that the LNA leadership convened a meeting preceding the disaster. They decided to elevate the level of preparedness and readiness, to provide humanitarian services to residents in the event of an emergency. Additionally, an emergency committee was established, in collaboration with the Libyan government.
Initially, the LNA’s focus was primarily on Benghazi, as available information indicated that the storm would hit the city first. Preparations in Benghazi were amped up; however, when the storm hit the city with speeds ranging from 70-80 kilometers per hour, no significant damage was reported.
The flooding in Derna resulted in catastrophic damage, described by the UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, as “unprecedented in the country’s history.”
As the country grapples with the aftermath of the catastrophic floods, a new UN report rang the alarm on more potential disasters. One such looming threat is the collapse of other major dams, near Benghazi.