DFA: No Filipinos in Libya request to leave despite flooding
MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos in Libya have so far made no requests for repatriation despite massive flooding in the North African country, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said Thursday.
“No requests for repatriation in Libya. None. For our kababayans (compatriots) who wish to be repatriated, just contact the Philippine Embassy and we will repatriate you. The embassy is in touch already with Filipinos [in Libya],” the DFA official said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.
“For [individuals] in the Philippines who have missing relatives [in Libya], do contact us through [the] OFW Help Facebook page so we can ask [the embassy] to locate their relatives if they are missing,” he added.
According to de Vega, they have not received any report of a Filipino killed because of the catastrophic flooding in Libya.
DFA’s data showed that 1,100 Filipinos are in eastern Libya. Of this number, 90, mostly nurses, stay in Derna, Umm al-Rizam, al-Bayda, and Tacnis. But all of them are safe, according to the DFA, continuing duties as hospital front liners.
Mediterranean storm Daniel caused devastating floods that swept away entire neighborhoods and wrecked homes in multiple coastal towns east of Libya.
Prime Minister Ossama Hamad of the east Libyan government on Monday, September 11, said as many as 2,000 people were feared dead in the country’s Derna city while thousands were believed missing. He also said Derna has since been declared a disaster zone.
On Wednesday, Ossama Ali, a spokesman for an ambulance center in eastern Libya, said at least 5,100 deaths were recorded in Derna, along with around 100 others elsewhere in east Libya. He also said that more than 7,000 people in the city were injured.
On the other hand, a spokesman for the eastern Libyan interior ministry put the death tally in Derna at more than 5,300, according to the state-run news agency.
Ali said the number of deaths was likely to increase since teams are still collecting bodies. At least 9,000 people are missing, but that number could drop as communications are restored.
The United Nation’s International Organization for Migration said the flooding displaced at least 30,000 people in Derna.