Nearly two weeks later, Libya toll tops 3,800
Bodies buried by villagers in the first several days following the September 10-11 flooding are not included in the official numbers.
The official death toll continues to rise almost two weeks after a flash flood ravaged the Libyan coastal city of Derna, surpassing 3,800 on Saturday.
According to Mohamed Eljarh, spokesperson for the assistance committee established by the government in eastern Libya, a total of 3,845 people have perished.
He stated that the statistic only included individuals whose burials had been documented by the health ministry and that it is "unfortunately expected to rise every day," not including those buried by villagers in the first few days following the devastating floods.
Officials and communities are working together to establish a list of unrecorded funerals as well as a registration of the missing, which international humanitarian organizations estimate may number 10,000 or more.
Many of the deceased are said to have been washed out to sea, where their corpses can still be found. Others are said to be buried behind the wreckage that covers entire Derna neighborhoods.
Over 43,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and hundreds of traumatized newborns and young children are said to have lost their parents in Derna.
According to Libyan journalist Noura Eljerbi, more than 400 children who have been separated from their families in Derna are now housed in two schools that have been transformed into shelters. Libyans are coming together to provide breastmilk and care for infants who have been orphaned following the floods.
Derna to host reconstruction conference: authorities
In a related context, Libya's eastern-based administration announced Friday that an international conference will be held next month in the flood-ravaged port city of Derna to boost rehabilitation efforts.
In a statement, the administration announced that "the government invites the international community to participate in the conference planned for October 10 in Derna to present modern, rapid projects for the reconstruction of the city."
The conference is scheduled to be held to respond to the demands of "residents of the stricken city of Derna and other towns that suffered damage" after the floods.