With thousands dead after disastrous floods, Libya’s new threat is water contamination

Search-for-bodies-Derna Rescuers and relatives search for bodies of victims in Derna [File: Abdulaziz Almnsori/AP Photo]

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Health authorities have been sounding the alarm over the spread of waterborne diseases in the affected areas, particularly in the hard-hit city of Derna.
  • Experts have warned that floodwaters have severely contaminated water sources with sewage, rendering them unsafe for consumption and exposing communities to grave health risks.
  • The response has ranged from evacuating stranded residents and providing medical aid and essential supplies to securing safe water and sanitation equipment in order to prevent diseases from taking hold.
  • Aid groups are also calling people to avoid rushing towards mass burials or carrying out mass cremations
  • In a joint statement, the WHO and the ICRC said the bodies of victims of natural disaster “almost never” pose a health danger but also warned that “bodies should not be left in contact with drinking water sources” as they may leak feces that could lead to contamination.

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