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Most Libya flood casualties could have been avoided with advanced warning systems: WMO

September 14, 2023 at 2:35 pm

Teams of Turkiye’s State Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) join search and rescue operations to save lives following devastating floods in Libya on September 13, 2023 [TUR Disaster&amp/Emergency Management/Anadolu Agency]

The use of advanced warning systems would have lessened the casualties and damage caused by the recent devastating floods in Libya, the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Thursday, Anadolu Agency reports.

If there had been advanced warning we could have avoided most of the human casualties in Libya

Petteri Taalas, the WMO’s Secretary-General, told reporters in Geneva, where he presented the “United in Science 2023” report.

On economic losses from the floods, he said: “Of course, we cannot fully avoid economic losses, but we could have also minimised those losses, having proper services in place.”

At least 6,000 people have been killed and thousands of others remain missing due to the weekend floods in eastern Libya, according to officials.

Torrential rains swept several regions, most notably the cities of Derna, Benghazi, Al-Bayda, Al-Marj, and Soussa.

READ: ‘Forgive me, dad’: Last words of Libya teen killed in deadly Derna floods