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    Up to 10,000 people missing after floods in Libya, bodies washed up on beaches

    Floods caused devastating damage to the city of Derna

    “I returned from Derna. This is very destructive. The bodies are lying everywhere – in the sea, in the valleys, under buildings,” Hishem Shkiwat, minister of civil aviation and member of the emergency committee of the eastern Libyan government, told Reuters.

    The number of bodies discovered in Derna exceeds 1,000 ” he said, adding that he feared the final death toll would be “really, really high.”

    “I'm not exaggerating when I say 25 percent of the city is gone. Many, many buildings collapsed,” he said. Up to 10,000 people are missing, apparently washed away by floods.

    Since the 2011 uprising that ousted Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, the country has had no central government, and the resulting lawlessness has led to reduced investment in the country's roads and public services and minimal regulation of private construction.

    < p >Libya is politically divided between the internationally recognized government in Tripoli in the west and the self-proclaimed government in the east.

    Flash flooding in the Libyan coastal city of Derna

    Jalel Harchaoui, a Libya analyst and fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said some reports indicate that Derna's mayor's request to evacuate the city was rejected by the warlord in control of the east.

    “Derna's mayor is reported to have asked [Califa Belqassim] Haftar's Libyan National Army had permission to evacuate the city when the storm hit, but it was denied and the army advised people to stay home instead,” he said.

    Libya's western government announced on Tuesday , which is sending a plane carrying 14 tons of supplies and medicine to the eastern city of Benghazi.

    “The death toll is huge and could reach thousands,” Tamer Ramadan of the International The Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported on Tuesday. “From our independent sources of information, we confirm that the number of missing people currently reaches 10,000.”

    Foreign governments began pledging support to provide search and rescue teams. Photo: Anadolu Agency Cities and villages now contain destroyed buildings and damaged infrastructure. Photo: AFP

    Georgette Gagnon, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Libya, said dozens of towns and villages were “severely affected… with widespread flooding, damage to infrastructure and loss of life.”

    “I am deeply “Saddened by [Storm] Danielle's severe impact on the country… I call on all local, national and international partners to come together to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people in eastern Libya,” she said. in a tweet.

    Foreign governments began pledging support, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, promised search and rescue teams and other assistance.

    < p>“Many deaths expected and wounded, especially in the east. Our thoughts are with all the victims and their families,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement.

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