Landmines shifted by powerful currents pose a new threat to Libyans seeking fresh water after the floods contaminated springs.
Sunday saw displaced landmines in Derna, eastern coastal Libya, where residents survived the devastating flooding.
Residents considered wading into landmine-filled areas after this week’s floods took away entire families.
Since flooding compromised local water sources, many had to drive across the areas to get fresh water. Saturday saw 150 diarrhea cases, according to a municipal official.
“Under no circumstances in Derna, it is not allowed to use ordinary drinking water because its contamination percentage is very high,” Libya’s National Centre for Disease Control Director Haider al-Sayeh said in a video.
Reuters reported that at least 891 Derna structures were damaged, and 398 were buried in muck due to flooding.
Death toll in thousands. After Sunday’s storm collapsed two Derna dams, rescuers searched the ruins for survivors.
Various aid groups report thousands of deaths. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported 11,300 flood deaths and nearly 10,000 missing in Derna.
Libya’s destruction and political turmoil make it unclear how many people died in the floods. The Libyan Red Crescent disputes such statistics.
After Moammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, the oil-rich North African nation has been in upheaval. The East and West governments feud and rarely cooperate.
Egypt, Germany, Israel, and Russia have contributed aid, but road damage has impeded delivery.
UN agencies have regularly warned of disease outbreaks and basic needs shortages.
At least 1,000 people have been buried, according to the UN. The streets of Derna are full of bagged dead as authorities rush to bury them.
THIS WEEK, the UN meteorological organization warned that stronger warning systems may have prevented most deaths.
Officials are investigating the collapse of two dams that flooded Derna. The House of Representatives appointed Minister Osama Hammad to lead the investigation, which would examine how dam maintenance money was misused. Reports of two dam cracks from 1998 have also raised concerns.