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In Libya, protesters hold Derna authorities responsible for deadly flood

Derna residents are blaming authorities for the massive torrent that devastated the city after two dams collapsed during a storm last week.
HUSSAM AHMED/AFP via Getty Images

Protests erupted in Libya’s flood-stricken city of Derna on Monday, with hundreds of angry residents demanding accountability a week after two dams collapsed and caused flash floods in the city that killed thousands of people.

Last weekend, the devastating Storm Daniel struck the central and eastern Mediterranean Sea, including the eastern coastline of Libya. Derna was hit particularly hard when two dams upstream from it collapsed under the pressure of the water from the storm, sending a massive wave more than 20 feet high crashing through the city, destroying everything in its path.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs announced in an updated report Monday that 3,958 people have been killed across Libya due to the flooding, revising its previous death toll of 11,300. Earlier estimates dropped dramatically as the tally from Libya's disparate governments and aid efforts grew more consistent. According to the Tripoli-based government in Libya, 1,500 of Derna's 6,142 buildings were affected by the floods.

Badr al-Din al-Toumi, head of emergency and rapid response for the government based in Tripoli, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that 891 buildings were destroyed, 211 were damaged and another 398 buried in mud.

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