Thursday September 14, 2023

Around 6,000 people are already confirmed killed by the devastating floods in Libya but that number is likely to double or even quadruple, Islamic Relief warns, as more bodies continue to wash up on the streets.

Thousands more people are still missing and unaccounted for, and entire neighbourhoods and families have been washed away.

Working closely with local partners, Islamic Relief has begun funding distributions of essential aid such as food, blankets and mattresses to families who have lost their homes. Tens of thousands of people are now displaced and Islamic Relief is appealing for more international support for affected people in Libya.

 

Salah Aboulgasem, Deputy Director of Partner Development at Islamic Relief, based in the UK, says:

“The death toll will increase and at least double for sure, but it could even quadruple given the force of the floods and the number of people still missing.

“The floods are like a mini-tsunami destroying everything in its path. Thousands of people have drowned and entire families have been wiped out. A quarter of Derna, the biggest city in the region, has completely disappeared. It is absolutely harrowing.

“Buildings where multiple generations of the same family all lived have been swept away. Drowned bodies are washing up on the roads, and every time the tide comes in it’s washing bodies back up. Buildings have collapsed and there are countless bodies in the rubble.

“Lots of people are escaping the city, so Islamic Relief partners are starting to help people who have been displaced to a neighbouring town and provide them with food and basic emergency shelter. But the numbers are staggering and much more aid is urgently needed.”

 

Access to many parts of the region continues to be a challenge as many roads and key bridges have been damaged or destroyed, including the main road into Derna.

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