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10,000 missing in Libya floods, death toll could be huge, says Red Cross

The death toll from floods in eastern Libya is expected to rise dramatically, with 10,000 people reported missing.

The death toll from the devastating floods in eastern Libya is expected to rise dramatically, with an estimated 10,000 people reported missing, according to a warning issued by the Red Cross. The floods were caused by storm Daniel, which swept through the Mediterranean, affecting Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, and Libya. While Libyan officials have confirmed at least 150 deaths, Tamer Ramadan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) believes the actual number of casualties is much higher. Independent sources have reported that the number of missing persons has reached 10,000. The situation is dire, and the humanitarian needs exceed the capabilities of both the Libyan Red Crescent and the government. As a result, the government has issued an international appeal for support, and the IFRC is preparing to launch an emergency appeal for funds.

The World Health Organization has described the situation in Libya as a "calamity of epic proportions." Storm Daniel has been characterized by experts as extreme due to the significant amount of rainfall within a 24-hour period. The coastal town of Jabal al-Akhdar and Benghazi were particularly affected by the storm, leading to the declaration of a curfew and the closure of schools. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has reported that entire neighborhoods in Derna have disappeared, and residents have been swept away by the flooding after two dams collapsed. The situation in Derna is described as catastrophic and out of control. Oussama Hamad, the prime minister of the east-based government, has stated that there are more than 2,000 dead and thousands missing in Derna alone. While these figures have not been confirmed by medical sources or emergency services, Tamer Ramadan believes they may be close to the actual number.

The impact of the flooding on vulnerable migrants in Libya is also a cause for concern. The United Nations' Organization for Migration has expressed worry about the well-being of migrants in the country, who are already facing numerous challenges. The situation in Libya requires immediate attention and support from the international community. The Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations are working tirelessly to assess the extent of the disaster and provide assistance to those affected. It is hoped that a more accurate death toll will be available soon to aid in the response efforts.

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