People carry the body of a victim to be placed at a mass grave after a powerful storm and heavy rainfall hit Libya, in Derna, Libya [Ayman Al-Sahili/Reuters]

Hundreds buried in mass graves as Libya reels from devastating flooding

Source: Aljazeera

Situation in the eastern city of Derna ‘extremely dire’, as outside help starts to reach more than 36 hours after the disaster struck.

More than 1,000 corpses were collected, including at least 700 that have been buried so far, the health minister for eastern Libya said. Derna’s ambulance authority put the current death toll at 2,300.

Footage showed dozens of bodies covered by blankets in the yard of one hospital. Another image showed a mass grave piled with bodies. More than 1,500 corpses were collected, and half of them had been buried as of Tuesday evening, the health minister for eastern Libya said.

The destruction came to Derna and other parts of eastern Libya on Sunday night. As Storm Daniel pounded the coast, Derna residents said they heard loud explosions and realised that dams outside the city had collapsed.

Flash floods were unleashed down Wadi Derna, a river running from the mountains through the city and into the sea.

Outside help was only just starting to reach Derna on Tuesday, more than 36 hours after the disaster struck. The floods damaged or destroyed many access roads to the coastal city of some 89,000.

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