The use of advance warning systems would have lessened the casualties and damage caused by the recent devastating floods in Libya, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday.
“If there had been advance warning we could have avoided most of the human casualties in Libya,” Petteri Taalas, the WMO’s secretary-general, told reporters in Geneva where he presented the United in Science 2023 report.
With properly functioning systems, “they could have issued the warnings and the emergency management forces would have been able to carry out the evacuation of the people,” he added.
On economic losses from the floods, he said: “Of course, we cannot fully avoid economic losses, but we could have also minimized those losses, having proper services in place.”
At least 6,000 people have been killed and thousands of others remain missing due to the weekend floods in eastern Libya, according to officials.
Torrential rains swept several regions, most notably the cities of Derna, Benghazi, Al-Bayda, Al-Marj, and Soussa.