The passage of storm Daniel left behind a stricken part of Libya, as well as at least 11,000 dead. Among them, Haithan’s family.
Libya deplores at least 11,000 deaths after the deadly passage of storm Daniel on the night of September 10 to 11. A town in the northeast of the country is particularly affected: Derna. This is where Haithan, a French teacher, lives. With a heavy face, he tells BFMTV that he lost part of his family.
On the day the waters rose, he was with them. He went to his uncle’s house to try to help him and his cousins. “I started calling them, shouting, but no one answered,” he remembers. “And there, I discovered that they were in the same room (…) they were getting ready to go out, but (the flood) was too fast for them.”
“I found them all dead, one on top of the other. There was my uncle who was hanging from the ceiling, I don’t know how it happened,” says the professor, visibly marked by this vision.
“I took out the corpses”
The day the storm passed, Haithan himself barely escaped. However, he managed to save his parents, his two sisters, his brother and his family. He warned them of the rising waters, even though they were installed on the ground floor, a more exposed area.
“I went upstairs and the water was following me, I was able to help my parents out of the window and onto the roof,” he recalls.
This traumatic episode, however, is not the end of the story. Haithan had to live through the aftermath of this tragedy. He explains that he “took out the corpses” of his loved ones, took them to the hospital, then to the cemetery to bury them. Faced with such a large number of deaths, there is no burial, but “a large pit with thousands of dead”.
However, health authorities and the Red Crescent have warned against these mass graves. “We urge authorities in communities affected by the tragedy not to rush into mass burials or cremations,” warned doctor and WHO official Kazunobu Kojima.
He emphasizes that the bodies of people who are victims of natural disasters “almost never” represent a health risk but can cause major legal and social disorder across the country. Without forgetting the lasting mental distress of the families of the deceased who were unable to organize funerals and mourn.
Source: BFM TV