May 18, 2024

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A week after a massive wall of water ripped through the Libyan coastal city of Derna sending thousands to their deaths, the focus has turned to caring for survivors.

Citing the Libyan Red Crescent, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Sunday that 10,100 people were still missing in the devastated city.

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

Aid is now arriving in the war-plagued North African nation as the world mobilises to help emergency services cope with the aftermath of the deadly flood after two dams burst near Derna last week.

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.

The dams upstream from Derna failed under the pressure of torrential rains from the hurricane-strength Storm Daniel. The structures were built to protect the port city of 100,000 people after it was hit by significant flooding in the mid-20th century.

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