About 10,000 people affected by a cyclone in northeastern Libya are missing, raising fears that the death toll from this natural disaster is more than the nearly 2,400 that authorities have reported so far, according to the representative of the largest network in the world.
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) delegate Tamer Ramadan said Cyclone Daniel had as devastating an impact in Libya as the massive earthquake in Morocco.
“We can confirm that thousands of people have lost their lives, thousands are missing and thousands have lost their homes, but the final figures will be determined by our teams assessing the situation on the ground,” he said.
The International Health Organization (WHO) claimed the cyclone was of “epic proportions” and had sent an initial shipment of 40 tonnes of relief supplies which were expected to arrive in the affected area shortly.
“We are doing everything we can to provide first aid, evacuate the wounded, provide psychosocial support and other humanitarian services, but the needs are enormous and far exceed the capacity of the Libyan Red Crescent and the government itself,” Ramadan explained .
Communication is a major problem due to the lack of electricity and disruption of mobile phone and internet services in areas affected by the cyclone, which hit the most damaged city of Derna last Sunday.
At the time of the natural disaster, this coastal city was the fourth largest in the country with around 120,000 residents. In these circumstances, the authorities governing the east of the country have requested international assistance. “We ask our international partners to refocus on Libya and provide all possible support to move forward,” Ramadan said.