BENGHAZI, Libya: Libya’s eastern-based administration said on Friday that it would host an international conference next month in the flood-hit port city of Derna to aid reconstruction efforts.
A tsunami-sized flash flood broke through two aging dams upstream from Derna after a hurricane-strength storm lashed the area on September 10, razing entire neighborhoods and sweeping thousands of people into the sea.
“The government invites the international community to participate in the conference planned for October 10 in Derna to present modern, rapid projects for the reconstruction of the city,” the administration said in a statement.
It said the conference was being held in “response to the demands of residents of the stricken city of Derna and other towns that suffered damage” during the flooding.
Wracked by divisions since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed veteran dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has for years been ruled by two administrations vying for power.
A UN-backed, internationally recognized administration in the capital Tripoli is run by Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, while a rival administration in the east is backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
The official death toll from the flood stands at more than 3,300 — but the eventual count is expected to be far higher, with international aid groups giving estimates of up to 10,000 people missing.
The International Organization for Migration on Thursday said more than 43,000 people have been displaced by the flood.