Rescuers and emergency crew from the Ballito-based IPSS Search & Rescue are heading off to Libya following a devastating storm that claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people.
IPSS Search & Rescue spokesperson, Samantha Meyrick said the team is collaborating with the Al-Imdaad Fountation and will help with search and rescue and recovery efforts in Derna.
“Their mission: to stand side by side with local and international teams on the ground after the collapse of dams left the city in ruins,” Meyrick said.
“The toll has been unimaginable, with thousands lost and many more still missing. Our team is heading in willingly, knowing the challenges that lie ahead with the recovery effort.”
She explained that due to severe travel restrictions to the area, the team will only be travelling with their personal rescue gear and necessities.
“Let's hold them in our thoughts and prayers as they embark on this arduous journey to help bring closure to family, friends and city of Derna,” Meyrick said.
Al Jazeera reported that the death toll has increased to 11,300, with missing bodies washing up onshore.
Meanwhile, the Who Health Organization (WHO) said 29 metric tons of health supplies have been sent to Libya from the WHO Global Logistics Hub in the United Arab Emirates.
Storm Daniel’s impact was compounded by the collapse of two dams that led to the deaths of thousands of people in Derna. More than 9,000 people are still missing. WHO teams are working with the Libyan Ministry of Health to track the dead and missing.
Thus far, the bodies of 3,958 people have been recovered and identified, and death certificates have been issued. This number is projected to increase as more bodies are recovered by search and rescue teams.
For those wanting to assist in the local rescue team's efforts, donations can be made through the Al-Imdaad Foundation.