Libya declares year-long state of emergency in Derna
The disease center says the measure aims to prevent the spread of disease through flood-devastated regions.
Libya's National Center For Diseases Control declared a one-year state of emergency on Saturday in all the eastern regions devastated by Storm Daniel, in an attempt to prevent the potential spread of diseases.
The center, part of the Government of National Unity in the country's eastern region, made this announcement through a statement by its director, Haider al-Sayeh. He revealed that the number of cases of poisoning by water contamination in the city of Derna had risen to 150, primarily due to the mixing of drinking water with sewage.
Al-Sayeh emphasized that the drinking water in Derna is now unsafe for consumption, highlighting the urgent need to explore alternative water sources.
International expertise required
The head of the Libyan Presidential Council Mohamed el-Menfi acknowledged that the disaster in Derna overwhelmed the country's capabilities, stressing the necessity of international expertise and resources to face the catastrophic fallout of the storm.
In an official statement released on Saturday, the council quoted el-Menfi as saying, "We must be candid with ourselves and our people—the disaster surpasses our human and material capabilities... I took the unilateral decision to request international assistance, which is vital for the welfare of our citizens in distress."
Discovery of bodies continues
Maltese search and rescue teams operating in Libya discovered hundreds of bodies on Derna's beach on Friday as efforts to locate survivors continue for the sixth consecutive day despite fading hope.
"There were probably about 400, but it is difficult to say," Natalino Bezzina, head of the Maltese Civil Protection who is leading his country's search and rescue team in Libya, told the Times of Malta newspaper.
He explained that the search began at around 6 AM on Friday when a small team from civil protection, aided by drones, scoured the area for bodies that had been washed out to sea.
As the search continued, Libyan boats joined in the efforts to locate bodies or survivors. Their combined efforts led to the discovery of a small bay with hundreds of bodies.
Earlier, Abdel-Rahim Mazek, a member of the Libyan Emergency Committee and the head of Bayda's main medical center, informed the Russian Sputnik agency that the death toll from Storm Daniel and its aftermath in Derna had exceeded 11,000, with roughly 20,000 people still reported missing.