UAE search-and-rescue teams help find 229 victims in Libya's Derna

Tens of thousands of people remain unaccounted for

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The UAE Disaster Victim Identification team in Libya, as part of a continuing humanitarian mission, has helped to locate 229 people missing after the flooding disaster in Derna.

The UAE team also assisted Libyan authorities and teams in helping the affected and displaced, providing with aid and relief.

They have helped to find victims of the disaster and retrieve the remains of the dead from houses, beaches and debris.

Experts in forensic medicine, dentistry, genetic fingerprinting and forensic evidence worked to identify the victims.

They are the first of their kind in the world to arrive in Derna to carry out such tasks.

Dr Issa Al Awadhi, leader of the Emirati team specialising in victim identification, said it is difficult to identify victims in major disasters visually.

He said the team had to rely on primary scientific identifiers, such as finger prints, dental prints or DNA results.

Dr Al Awadhi said that it may take a long time to accurately identify victims, especially since there are so many victims of the storm still missing.

Storm Daniel caused havoc and flash floods in many towns in eastern Libya, with the worst damage in the city of Derna, where dams were destroyed and floodwaters washed away entire neighbourhoods, authorities said.

It has killed more than 4,000 people and thousands more remain missing in eastern Libya.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, on Friday ordered 90 tonnes of aid to be flown to Libya.

It is the third consignment of relief aid in the past three weeks to be sent from Dubai's International Humanitarian City to Benghazi, Libya, as part of continuing efforts to support people affected by Storm Daniel.

The Boeing 747 aircraft took off from Dubai World Central Airport early on Friday morning, carrying more than 90 tonnes of aid, including essential shelter materials, kitchen sets, blankets, jerry cans, and other crucial relief items provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Updated: October 10, 2023, 10:44 AM