Libya to launch probe into poor dam oversight after floods - Official

BENGHAZI: Libyan authorities will conduct an investigation and prosecute those whose negligence caused dams to collapse in the eastern city of Derna during heavy rains if they are proven guilty, the justice minister of the parliament-appointed government based in Sirt, Khaled Masoud al-Mudir, told Sputnik.

“If it is proven that those responsible for the condition of these dams, through an error or negligence, did not inspect or repair them, they will be criminally liable, whether they are leaders of the Derna municipality or persons from the previous government. The Prosecutor’s Office will carry out all legal procedures and take it upon itself to find out whether there was a mistake or negligence in order to take measures against the recurrence of such incidents,“ the minister said.

Libyan authorities will also investigate why some foreign companies did not monitor the condition of dams in the east of the country despite maintenance contracts concluded in 1999, 2007, and 2008, he added.

Torrential rains hit Libya on September 10, brought by Storm Daniel. They caused destructive flooding in the country’s east, where the cities of Susah and Derna were declared natural disaster zones.

As of Thursday, the number of flooding casualties exceeded 11,000, with around 20,000 people still unaccounted for, Al Arabiya broadcaster reported, citing the Libyan Red Crescent. On Wednesday, the mayor of Derna, Abdulmenam Al-Ghaithi, said that the death toll from flooding in the city may reach from 18,000 to 20,000. -Bernama-Sputnik

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