Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The Libyan Red Crescent said Friday that at least 11,300 people are dead from the recent catastrophic flooding in the North Africa nation, with another 10,100 reported as still missing.
As many as 20,000 are believed dead, but precise numbers are unknown and difficult to track because of the level of destruction.
Derna Mayor Abdel Moneim al-Ghaithi told Sky News Arabia, "The situation is very large and surprising for the city of Derna. We were not able to confront it with our capabilities that preceded the storm and the torrent."
He added that the death could reach 20,000, about one-fifth of Derna's population. The mayor's office also said the city's dam had not been maintained since 2008 due to political divisions in the country.
Mohamed Menfi, president of the Presidential Council of Libya, has asked the public prosecutor to investigate.
"We asked the Public Prosecutor to open a comprehensive investigation into the events of the disaster and hold accountable everyone who made a mistake or neglected to abstain or take actions that resulted in the collapse of the dams in the city of Derna, provided that investigations extend to everyone who obstructed international relief efforts or their arrival in the stricken cities," Menfi wrote on X.
The World Meteorological Organization said Thursday most fo the deaths could have been prevented if Libya had a functioning meteorological service.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said its teams are distributing medicine, food, body bags, first aid kits and household items to assist thousands of families.
"This disaster was violent and brutal. A wave 7 meters high wiped out buildings and washed infrastructure into the sea. Now family members are missing, dead bodies are washing back up on shore, and homes are destroyed. The city faces immense emotional trauma," said Yann Fridez, the head of ICRC's Libya delegation, in a Thursday statement.