11,000 people have died in the Libya floods and 10,000 are missing

LONDON – The death toll from devastating floods in eastern Libya has surpassed 11,000, according to the Libyan Red Cross.

The Libyan Red Cross said on Friday that at least 11,300 people had died and another 10,100 were missing.

Mediterranean Storm Daniel is behind widespread flooding in the North African country as it washed away entire neighborhoods over the weekend and dragged bodies out to sea.

The port city of Terna was worst hit following the collapse of two dams, which destroyed a quarter of the area. According to local officials, the city has been declared a disaster zone as electricity and communication have been cut.

An assessment team that visited Terna on Thursday said people were desperately returning to what remained of their homes.

“What I saw there … the situation is catastrophic … a lot of destruction and rubble, basically 25% of the city was destroyed as a result of the floods,” said Talal Barnas, Libya’s executive director. The International Medical Corps told ABC News.

“Whenever you see a search and rescue team, you’ll see families crying out for support, basically hoping they’ll find one of their family members alive,” Parnas said.

Barnas said people were still being pulled out of the rubble on Thursday. When he visited the last remaining government hospital in Terna, he saw one rescue operation and heard four others. Survivors have been trapped in the rubble since early Monday morning.

Some help is available through a road that leads into the devastated areas. Barnas saw international search and rescue teams from Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Spain, and he passed aid convoys from all over Libya.

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“There were many local authorities there — the army, the police, scouts, the Libyan Red Cross — trying to recover bodies or trying to find survivors under the rubble,” Parnas said.

Doctors Without Borders sent an emergency team from Misrata to Terna, which arrived on Thursday to assess needs after storm Daniel, despite challenging conditions as the city was split east and west by floods.

The group’s medical coordinator for Libya said the situation in Libya is chaotic as volunteers come from all over to help, leaving a huge need for coordination.

“There are no more dead bodies on the street, no more injuries in the hospital,” said Manoelle Gordon, MSF’s medical coordinator for Libya, on Friday. “More and more health needs are coming back day by day – chronic diseases. We can clearly identify a huge need for mental health support. Everyone is asking for it, from people on the streets to medical doctors. From people who witnessed the events to those who lost their entire families who helped.”

An emergency team consisting of a logistician and three medical staff began assessing primary health facilities in the city on Friday, Gordon said.

“We visited three health centers in the west – one is not active because almost all the medical staff have died. The other two health centers are operating with volunteer doctors from Tripoli, but they are asking for support – mainly to support people who come to the center for mental health,” Gordon said.

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The situation for internally displaced people remains unclear, Gordon said, adding that the group has identified a location west of Tripoli with about 3,000 displaced people, but most are sheltering in the homes of friends and colleagues.

Libya’s National Meteorological Center reported 16 inches of rain in the northeastern city of Bayda in the 24 hours since Sunday, according to flood monitoring website Floodlist.

Several countries have pledged to send aid to Libya, but getting supplies to affected areas has proven difficult, with many roads blocked and bridges destroyed. Rescue efforts have also been hampered by Libya’s current political situation, with the oil-rich country divided between two warring governments – one in the east and the other in the west.

The head of the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization said on Thursday that Libya’s flooding could have avoided casualties if the weather service had been active in the divided country.

Barnas says those who lost their homes are housed in municipal buildings such as schools and universities.

“If you look at the extent of the destruction and the area destroyed – it’s huge. You can see cars stuck on the third and fourth floors of the building … it was massive, like nothing you’ve ever seen before,” Parnas said. .

ABC News’ Will Gretzky contributed to this report.

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