Libya floods may have left 2,000 dead, 10,000 missing

Floods caused by heavy rains in eastern Libya have reportedly left more than 2,000 people dead. An international organization estimates that nearly 10,000 are missing.

Heavy rains that persisted in the city of Derna in recent days caused flooding on Monday, sweeping away houses in residential areas.

Middle Eastern media quoted a senior official from the eastern Libyan government as saying the death toll has exceeded 2,000.

The report says the disaster caused extensive damage not just to Derna, but also to its surrounding cities because the flooding occurred at night and burst dams.

On Tuesday, an official from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, or IFRC, spoke about the disaster at an online UN news conference.

Tamer Ramadan, the head of the IFRC delegation in Libya, said nearly 10,000 people are missing in Derna and four surrounding cities.

He added that the death toll is staggering and could potentially reach the thousands.

Ramadan called on the international community to provide whatever support they can for emergency responders in Libya.

The North African nation is divided into opposing eastern and western political factions, each with its own prime minister.

There is concern that the political turmoil in the country may hamper the assessment of the damage, rescue operations and delivery of aid supplies.