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Floods in Libya: Derna survivors want answers

“Two years ago, there were already leaks on the big dam when it was only half full. We had warned the municipality and demanded reparations,” Abdelqader al-Omrani told AFP from his hospital bed in Benghazi, the large city in the east.

For this 48-year-old Libyan, who saw the lifeless bodies of six loved ones carried by the waves in his devastated city pass before his eyes, the thousands of deaths could have been avoided. Those responsible who did not carry out the repairs “have our deaths on their conscience,” he said.

After a demonstration by hundreds of residents, the head of the executive in eastern Libya, Osama Hamad, dissolved the Derna municipal council on Monday, against which he also ordered the opening of an investigation .

Ezzedine Miftah, 32, also points the finger at local authorities, behind his oxygen mask in intensive care. For this private sector employee whose family survived the floods, “it’s the fault of those in charge who didn’t do their job and let the dams collapse.”

The ensuing tidal wave reduced the heart of the city of 100,000 to a pile of mud drying in the sun, raked by rescue workers to remove bodies or bulldozers to dig mass graves.

Billions of euros to unlock

There is also the question of reconstruction. We need “billions, a new sewerage network,” another injured man, a 53-year-old father, told AFP.

A challenge in Libya riddled with divisions since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and governed by two rival administrations. “Libya has gone from problem to problem, but now we need a state because Derna is devastated and there are still 70,000 people threatened by epidemics there,” he says, thick-rimmed glasses raised. on the front.

“People can’t drink or wash with water, what will they do? », he adds, himself awaiting an operation after being affected by infections which proliferated on his broken hands and feet from swimming in sewage.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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