CAIRO: The death toll from the devastating floods that struck eastern Libya could reach 20,000 in the city of Derna alone, the mayor said, reported German news agency (dpa).

“We expect a very big number of victims. It can reach 18,000 to 20,000 deaths based on the destroyed districts in Derna,“ Mayor Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi told the Al Arabiya channel late on Wednesday.

Al-Ghaithi said the city was suffering from a humanitarian disaster due to the massive floods that followed a heavy storm in eastern Libya last weekend.

Two dams in the mountains above Derna collapsed.

While rescue workers and relatives continue to search for survivors, about 10,000 people were reported missing, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The floods in eastern Libya have also left more than 30,000 people homeless, according to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration, particularly in Derna.

Two rival governments are vying for power in oil-rich Libya, which has been plagued by unrest in recent years. One is based in the east and the other in the capital of Tripoli, in the west.

Diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve the ongoing civil war have failed. -Bernama

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