GENEVA (Reuters) - Around 10,000 people are thought to be missing following major floods in Libya, an official from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Tuesday.
"We can confirm from our independent sources of information that the number of missing people is hitting 10,000 so far," Tamer Ramadan, the head of the IFRC delegation in Libya, told reporters in Geneva via video link from Tunisia.
Around a quarter of Libya's eastern city of Derna was wiped out by floods after dams burst in a storm, and more than 1,000 bodies have been recovered so far, a minister in the administration that controls the east said on Tuesday.
Ramadan said: "The death toll is huge and might reach thousands."
The IFRC could soon launch an appeal for emergency funding to support Libya's flood victims.
"The challenges are ranging between access to basic health facilities for health services, shelter and shelter management, food and non-food items," Ramadan said.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Rachel More, Miranda Murray, Peter Graff)