The head of Libya’s Audit Bureau has submitted a report to the Public Prosecutor regarding the stalled maintenance projects on the Derna and Abu Mansour dams, which collapsed last week after heavy rains from the Mediterranean storm Daniel, unleashing a wall of water that killed at least 11,000 people in the coastal city of Derna. More than 10,000 residents remain missing and are presumed dead, while entire neighborhoods were washed out to sea.
The Derna Wadi, typically a dry riverbed, burst the dams built to contain it after rains poured into nearby hills. The dams had not undergone maintenance in over 20 years to prepare for possible floods.
The disaster came as “completely unexpected” despite meteorological warnings issued about potential flooding before the storm’s landfall.
The report recommends investigating officials responsible for the lack of progress on the critical dam maintenance projects, despite contracts being secured and funding made available. Officials who oversaw the delays could face prosecution pending investigation results.