At least 55 children in the northeastern Libyan city of Derna have been poisoned due to water contamination caused by recent floods, the head of the Libyan National Disease Control Center, Haider al-Sayeh, said on Friday.
Earlier in the day, head of Al-Bayda health center and a member of the governmental committee on emergencies in eastern Libya Abderrahim Mazyek told Sputnik that delayed discovery of the bodies of those killed by the floods in Derna may lead to epidemics and infections.
“There have already been 55 reported cases of children getting poisoned by the contaminated water in the city of Derna,” al-Sayeh told Libyan news portal Abaad, adding that it was necessary to evacuate people from Derna’s flooded areas.
The death toll from the flooding in eastern Libya has exceeded 11,000, with about 20,000 people missing, Al-Arabiya reported on Thursday, citing the local Red Crescent Movement. The latest official situation update on Wednesday afternoon put the death toll from the floods at over 7,000.
The mayor of Derna, Abdulmenam Al-Ghaithi, said on Wednesday that the death toll may reach from 18,000 to 20,000.
This week, torrential rains brought by Storm Daniel caused high water and floods in multiple cities and towns in eastern Libya, including Al-Bayda and Derna. Air and seaports in the region were closed due to heavy downpours. The cities of Susah and Derna were declared natural disaster zones. Curfews were imposed in the flood-affected cities.