The United Nations has revised its previous death count of deaths from floods in Libya, according to which at least 3,958 people have lost their lives across the country instead of the 11,300 that was earlier reported by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) due to the disaster that hit last week, CNN reported.
According to the UN which cited the UN World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday (September 17), the revised report mentioned that over 9,000 people are still missing.
In the initial report on Saturday, the OCHA had said that at least 11,300 people died in Derna, Libya, due to the floods, according to CNN. The OCHA had cited the Libyan Red Crescent for the death figures in its Saturday report.
“We’re going with figures just verified by WHO,” Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, was quoted as saying by CNN on Sunday.
However, the Libyan Red Crescent Society said earlier on Sunday that it never put out the high death counts from flooding in Derna to the UN.
When asked how or why the UN released the death count incorrectly, Haq was quoted as saying by CNN, “in a lot of different tragedies we end up revising our numbers. So that’s just what’s happening here”.
“Standard procedure is we work with different parties trying to make sure our numbers are cross-checked. Whenever we do these revisions it’s because our numbers are being cross-checked,” Haq added.
According to the deputy spokesman, the numbers of the death count are fluid which “can go upward or downward.”
Derna which is the epicenter of the floods during Storm Daniel was divided into two after the floodwater drained and swept away the localities last Sunday, paving its way to the sea. Before the tragedy, the city had a population of nearly 1,00,000, according to CNN.
The waterfront of the city is a witness to being the place where the dead bodies are being delivered and transported for burial.
Moreover, on Derna's seafront, the rescue teams were working tirelessly to clear the way for further relief efforts. A helicopter scanned the sea for bodies, and diggers strove to remove obstacles obstructing rescue operations.
The UN's humanitarian affairs office said it had initiated an appeal for USD 71 million to aid those affected by the disaster. Saudi Arabia and Russia have contributed mobile hospitals. An Italian naval ship arrived in Derna with supplies which included tents, blankets, water pumps, and tractors.