Floods in Derna, Libya: more than 43,000 people displaced

More than 43,000 people have been displaced following deadly floods that devastated eastern Libya, including the city of Derna, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the migration agency, announced on Thursday (September 21)

Floods in Derna, Libya: more than 43,000 people displaced

More than 43,000 people have been displaced following deadly floods that devastated eastern Libya, including the city of Derna, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the migration agency, announced on Thursday (September 21). of the United Nations (UN).

“43,059 people have been displaced by floods in northeastern Libya,” the IOM said in its latest report on the situation in eastern Libya following the devastating passage of Storm Daniel overnight September 10-11.

The latest official report from the UN agency shows 3,922 deaths. As for the data available on the missing, they remain approximate. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, for its part, reports an “enormous” number of deaths and 10,000 missing.

According to the IOM, “the lack of water supply may have pushed many displaced people to leave Derna for other cities in the East and West.”

The Libyan authorities had asked the city's population to no longer use water from the local distribution network, contaminated, according to them, by flood waters.

Needs for water, food and psychosocial support

The UN announced earlier this week that its agencies, notably the World Health Organization (WHO), were working to "prevent the spread of disease and avoid a second devastating crisis in the region", warning of a risk coming from “contaminated water and lack of hygiene.”

The urgent needs of displaced people include “food, drinking water, mental health and psychosocial support,” IOM added.

Furthermore, telecommunications networks were restored during the night from Wednesday to Thursday in Derna after a 24-hour outage, the Libyan authorities announced. Connections were cut on Tuesday and journalists asked to leave the stricken town the day after a demonstration by residents of Derna demanding accountability from the authorities in the east of the country, responsible, according to them, for the disaster.

The authorities spoke of a “cutting of optical fibers”, but, according to analysts and Internet users, this was a deliberate cut intended to impose a blackout after extensive media coverage of the demonstration the day before.