RIYADH: Shipments of international aid started to arrive in Libya on Saturday, providing a lifeline to thousands of people despite the diminishing hope of finding more survivors in the aftermath of the devastating flash floods.
The first Saudi aid plane also departed on Saturday from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh to Benina International Airport in Benghazi.
It is carrying 90 tons of food and relief materials to be distributed to the people affected by the floods in Libya, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The floods on Sunday engulfed the port city of Derna, sweeping away thousands of people and homes into the sea following the rupture of two upstream dams due to intense rainfall caused by a storm of hurricane strength.
King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently directed the Saudi aid agency KSrelief to provide food and shelter assistance to victims of the flooding.
A specialized team from KSrelief will oversee the delivery of aid in coordination with the Libyan Red Crescent.
KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said that the efforts are part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian role in supporting countries during times of crisis and hardship.
The UN has launched an appeal for more than $71 million to assist hundreds of thousands in need.
According to Tawfik Shoukri, spokesperson for the Libyan Red Crescent, teams are still actively searching for survivors and working to remove bodies from the debris in severely affected areas of Derna.
Shoukri said that other teams were making efforts to deliver essential aid to families residing in the eastern part of the city, which had been relatively less affected by the flooding but was isolated due to road closures.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 38,640 people have been displaced in eastern Libya, with 30,000 in Derna alone.