Libya floods: The bodies left unrecognisable by disaster


They were on their way to join teams already on the ground from other countries, including France and Italy.A masked doctor leans down into a black plastic body bag, and gently manipulates the legs of the man inside. “First we determine age, sex and length,” he explains.In a hospital car park in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, the final details of one of its many victims are being carefully checked and loggedThis is now one of the most vital jobs here, and one of the most distressing. The man is unrecognisable after spending a week in the sea. His body washed ashore that morning.xpert hands gently probe, looking for identifying marks and taking a DNA swab. That’s important, in case there’s a family still alive to claim him.


More than 10,000 people remain officially missing, according to figures from the UN’s Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs The Red Crescent has been issuing its own numbers The UN says the death toll so far stands at some 11,300. The final total remains unclear – although the one thing that is certain is the sheer scale of this When he went to find his sister and her husband at their home after the floods, it had been washed awaycatastrophe.Mohammed Miftah knows in his heart his family are among the victimsWhen he went to find his sister and her husband at their home after the floods, it had been washed away


The next step is making sure they’re used properly and fairly It’s a concern borne from the well-known challenges of coordinating between the government in Tripoli which is internationally recognised, and the eastern Libyan government, which isn’t Abdullah Bathily, the Head of the UN’s International Support Mission in Libya, told BBC Arabic the country now needs to create a transparent mechanism to manage all of its international donationsBack in the centre of Derna there are some points of light amid the mud and debris that has enveloped this city On one street corner, hundreds of colourful clothes lie scattered in piles



Across the road a huge queue forms as fuel is handed out to survivors As the donations keep coming, one man arrives and places a box of warm scarves at the feet of an elderly woman He kisses her head tenderly, as she smiles and begins to choose one These are Libyans helping Libyans in one of their worst moments of crisis.The rescuers were among a team who were travelling on a bus to the flood-ravaged city of Derna on Sunday when their vehicle collided with a car carrying the family.Two others in the car and eight others on the bus were seriously injured, according to a Libyan officialAn investigation has been opened


Othman Abdeljalil, health minister in the administration that runs the east of the country, told a news conference the team had been travelling from the eastern city of Benghazi when the crash happenedHe put the death toll at four, but Greek officials said five members of their humanitarian aid team were killedFive bodies, including three officials of the Greek army and two translators from the Greek foreign ministry who were part of the aid team, will be repatriated to Athens on Monday,” the Greek chiefs of staff said in a statement quoted by AFP news agencyGreek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the accident a “tragedy


Libya is split between two rival governments – a United Nations-backed administration based in the capital, Tripoli, and a rival Egyptian-supported authority based in Benghazi.The Greek authorities said that a bus carrying medical personnel collided with a vehicle moving in the opposite directionThey added that it was unclear what exactly had happened and that it was looking into the incident in co-operation with Libya, while an operation was under way to repatriate their personnelA diplomatic source has told Greek news site Kathimerini that 16 members of the team were Greek rescuers and three were interpreters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *