One of the worst hit areas has been declared a disaster zone.
More than 5,200 people are believed to have died in devastating floods across eastern Libya, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said Tuesday.
Another 10,000 people are believed to be missing, according to Tamer Ramadan, Libya envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
“The death toll is huge,” Ramadan said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
In just the city of Derna, the worst hit area, at least 700 people have been confirmed dead from the unprecedented flooding. A quarter of Derna was wiped out after dams burst and the city was declared a disaster zone, with electricity and communication having been cut off.
Emergency workers uncovered more than 1,500 bodies in the wreckage of Derna on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
An additional 1,200 people were injured in the flooding in Derna, according to authorities.
The cities of Al Marj, Susah, Shahat and Al Bayda have also recorded several fatalities.
Rescue and relief efforts were underway on Tuesday to assist those affected by the flooding, according to Gen. Khalifa Haftar, head of the powerful Libyan military faction that controls the eastern part of the divided country.
“We issued immediate instructions to use all our capabilities, provide the needed support of all urgent medical equipment, operate medical convoys and to allocate shelters to those who lost their homes,” Haftar said in a televised address on Tuesday. “We have directed the government to form a specialized committee to assess the damage, instantly begin the reconstruction of roads to facilitate transportation, restore the electricity and to take all immediate and needed measures in that regards.”
President Joe Biden and the first lady are sending their “deepest condolences” to families in Libya who’ve lost loved ones in the devastating floods.