The member of the Crisis Committee in the Municipality of Derna, Hamad Al-Shalwi, described the humanitarian situation in the city as “catastrophic,” stressing that it exceeded what the mind or imagination could fathom, adding in an interview with the Libyan News Agency that there were still many people trapped under rubble and in the mud, saying that the humanitarian situation was very bad, as the smells of decomposing bodies had begun to spread in the air, fearing that epidemics and diseases would spread if there was no quick response.
Al-Shalwi added that the search and rescue efforts were all self-assisted with the help of military forces and others from the Ministry of Interior as well as local community organizations, noting that the first international teams specialized in search and rescue after floods and disasters that arrived in the scene, were from Turkey and had been accompanied by advanced, modern and high-quality equipment.
Al-Shalawi added that food aids arrived from all parts of the country in a scene that indicated solidarity among Libyans. He also said that what Libyans were uffering from was a severe shortage of drinking water, the water necessary for operations in the hospital, electric generators, and medical equipment and supplies.
He pointed out to the lack of fuel, especially diesel fuel, needed for the movement of ambulances, noting that Derna “has become three islands in the middle of a sea,” and therefore they needed rubber boats and other sea mobile bridges to deliver supplies. He also revealed that search operations during three days had recovered more than 6,000 bodies as September 13, indicating that the number of reported missing persons exceeded 12,000, expecting the death toll to rise in the coming hours after the sea waves began washing bodies on the beaches of Derna and nearby areas.