Libya’s top prosecutor on Monday ordered the detention of eight officials while they investigate the collapse of two dams that plunged the city of Derna under water and killed thousands.
Source: German wave
Details: Aid agencies say the death toll ranges from 4,000 to 11,000.
The mayor of Derna, Abdel-Moneim al-Haiti, who was fired after the disaster, was among those questioned.
Prosecutors also ordered officials from the Water Resources Authority and the Dam Authority to remain in custody until the investigation is completed.
They are accused of mismanagement, negligence and mistakes leading to the disaster. Prosecutors say officials did not provide enough evidence to avoid charges.
The dams in Libya were built by a company from the former Yugoslavia in the 1970s over the river valley that divides the city. In 2007, a Turkish firm was awarded a contract to carry out maintenance on two dams.
A government audit agency report in 2021 said the two dams had not been maintained despite more than $2 million (€1.88 million) being allocated for the purpose in 2012 and 2013.
Experts across the country have repeatedly sounded the alarm, including last year, about the need for dam maintenance.
Due to Storm Daniel in early September Greece and Libya experienced floods. On September 11 it became known that the number of confirmed deaths from recent floods in central Greece rose to 15 after the bodies of four people previously considered missing were found on Sunday. More than 5,000 people are believed to be dead and 10,000 missing after heavy rains in northeastern Libya caused two dams to collapse, sending water rushing into already flooded areas. On September 15, the death toll from floods in eastern Libya exceeded 11 thousand people.
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