The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that a week after Storm Daniel hit northeastern Libya, unleashing devastating flooding that swept away large swathes of entire cities, the humanitarian toll of the disaster continues to mount, citing the World Health Organization as saying that unprecedented flooding left 3,958 people dead and more than 9,000 still missing (adjusting the numbers from a previous report that said 11,300 were dead and over 10,100 missing, attributing these numbers to the Libyan Red Crescent.)
"These figures are expected to rise in the coming days and weeks as search-and-rescue crews work tirelessly to find survivors." OCHA said.
In response to this attribution, the spokesman for the Libyan Red Crescent, Tawfiq Shukri, denied that the death toll of the floods in Derna had reached 11,300, saying in a press statement: "To be honest, we are surprised that the Red Crescent is included in such statistics, and we haven't announced these confusing numbers.”
Deputy spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Farhan Haq, said in a statement to CNN that the UN had cited the numbers that had been verified by the World Health Organization, and when asked about the reasons for announcing a false death toll, Haq said: “In many disasters, the numbers end up being constantly modified. This is what happened here.”
"The standard procedure is that we work with various parties to try to ensure that our numbers are checked. When we do these reviews, it is because our numbers are being checked,” explaining that death numbers are variable and subject to increase or decrease.