The collapse of two overloaded dams during the disastrous floods was reported by Libya’s chief prosecutor on Friday. He also said that he has commissioned an investigation to determine whether improved maintenance may have prevented the catastrophe.
Two dams close to the coastal city of Derna collapsed earlier this week when Mediterranean storm Daniel brought severe rainfall and widespread flooding to eastern Libya, erasing a fourth of the region. A disaster area has been designated for the city.
According to Libyan Attorney General Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, investigations conducted decades ago revealed that the two dams, which were largely constructed to shield the city from floods, had flaws and subsidence that may cause them to collapse.
Al-Sour claimed that some $8 million had been set aside for maintenance, which was stopped a few months after work had begun when the Arab Spring revolt erupted in the nation at the beginning of the 2010s. He informed reporters on Friday that prosecutors were looking into how maintenance money for the dam was used.
In order to maintain track of victims and determine the causes of fatalities, a team of 26 prosecutors will also travel to Derna, he said. His office lacked a precise death toll due to ongoing investigations.
In the wake of the disastrous floods, the Libyan Red Crescent reports that at least 11,300 people have died and another 10,100 are still missing.
According to the scale of the damage, Derna Mayor Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi estimated that the death toll could exceed 20,000.
According to the flood monitoring website Floodlist, the northeastern city of Bayda received more than 16 inches of rain in the 24 hours leading up to Sunday, as recorded by Libya’s National Center of Meteorology.
The majority of the flooding-related deaths in Libya might have been prevented, according to the leader of the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations, if the divided nation had a functional meteorological service.