10,000 people missing in Libya storm floods as Red Cross predicts massive death toll

10,000 people missing in Libya storm floods as Red Cross predicts massive death toll
The death toll from Storm Daniel, the worst natural disaster to hit Libya in 40 years, could reach 10,000, a Red Cross official said.
2 min read
12 September, 2023
The floods have caused catastrophic damage in Darnah [Getty]

The death toll from catastrophic floods caused by a freak storm in eastern Libya is expected to soar dramatically, with 10,000 people reported missing, the Red Cross warned on Tuesday.

Othman Abdul Jalil, the health minister of one of Libya's two rival governments, told the Anadolu news agency that over 3,000 people had been killed by Storm Daniel, which has swept across the Mediterranean and lashed Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece.

The city of Darnah was worst affected with prime minister , Oussama Hamad of the east-based Libyan government telling the local Al-Masar network that there were "more than 2,000 dead and thousands missing" in the city.

Tamer Ramadan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the actual toll from the floods was likely many times higher.

"Our teams on the ground are still doing their assessment, (but) from what we see and from the news coming to us, the death toll is huge," he told reporters in Geneva via video link from Tunis.

"It might reach to the thousands."

This is believed to be the worst natural disaster to hit Libya for over 40 years.

"We don't have a definite number right now," he said, stressing though that the organisation had independent sources saying "the number of missing people is hitting 10,000 persons so far."

He said he hoped the IFRC would be able to provide a more precise toll of the disaster later Tuesday.

"The humanitarian needs are much more beyond the abilities of the Libyan Red Crescent and even the abilities of the government," Ramadan said.

"That's why the government in the east has issued an international appeal for support," he said, adding that IFRC was also preparing to launch an emergency appeal for funds towards the response.