“The death toll is huge and around 10,000 are reported missing,” Tamer Ramadan, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation in Libya, said Tuesday during a press briefing in Geneva.
As many as 6,000 people are missing from the eastern city of Derna alone, Othman Abduljalil, health minister in Libya’s eastern parliament-backed government, told Libya’s Almasar TV.
Speaking on the Libyan network Almasar, Oussama Hamad, Prime Minister of the east-based government, has reported "more than 2,000 dead and thousands missing" in the city of Derna alone, but no medical sources or emergency services have confirmed such figures.
But Ramadan said that judging from the figures he was seeing, "it's very likely that the number declared (by the eastern official) could be close to the correct number".
He said he hoped the IFRC would be able to provide a more precise toll of the disaster later Tuesday.
"The humanitarian needs are much more beyond the abilities of the Libyan Red Crescent and even the abilities of the government," Ramadan said.
"That's why the government in the east has issued an international appeal for support," he said, adding that IFRC was also preparing to launch an emergency appeal for funds towards the response.