Officials said on Thursday that about 20,000 people in eastern Libya are feared dead after torrents of water caused devastating damage that could have been largely avoided. Reports indicate that authorities in Libya chose to impose a curfew rather than evacuate the area.
The United Nations weather and climate agency also said that if authorities had better warning systems, it would have been possible to prevent most of the deaths.
After the floods ravaged the ruined city of Derna, fears grew that rotting bodies could lead to the outbreak of deadly diseases. Despite those fears, rescuers continued their search underwater and under rubble.
Derna’s mayor has said that as search teams and survivors find more bodies in the ruins, the death toll is likely to exceed thousands of deaths. Although the numbers have varied depending on which official provided them, however, majority of the sources predict the death toll will surpass the current confirmed numbers.
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