Derna, Libya, is still reeling from the devastating flash floods that struck the coastal city a week ago. The natural disaster, triggered by the bursting of two dams following Storm Daniel, has left the city in ruins and its people in despair.

The discovery of bodies persists. Death estimates vary. Figures range from 6,000 to 11,000 lives lost, and thousands still unaccounted for. Derna mayor suggested that the final toll could climb to 20,000.

The city struggles with shortages of medicine, clean water, and necessities. The homeless are particularly vulnerable.

There are signs of collaboration between Libya’s rival governments.

Libya has two rival governments. The country is in political turmoil following the overthrow and death of longtime leader Col Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The interim, internationally recognised, Government of National Unity (GNU) operates from the capital, Tripoli, while another government exists in the east.

Representatives of the Tripoli Government revealed that the two opposing administrations have been working together at a middle administrative level even before the floods struck.

According to Mohamed Hamuda, a spokesperson for the GNU, functional administrative authorities from both governments have been actively cooperating on a national level. He emphasised that the division between the two governments primarily exists at a higher political level, and the ground-level coordination continues.

Hamuda also highlighted that the responsibility for the infrastructure deficiencies that exacerbated the disaster must be shared among “all the governments” over the past few decades.

A visiting delegation is led by Osama Hamad, the Prime Minister of the eastern government, and includes ministers responsible for interior, electricity, and communications.

During a media briefing held in Derna, the eastern government officials acknowledged the unprecedented nature of the storm that led to the flooding. They claimed that every possible effort had been made to facilitate the safe delivery of aid to the affected areas.

However, the assurances offered by the visiting officials have done little to ease the growing public dissatisfaction. Many residents, who have lost their homes and loved ones, feel failed and left in harm’s way.

Controversy has also arisen over whether adequate evacuation measures were taken. Officials in Libya’s eastern government deny allegations that the dead victims were initially instructed to stay in their homes, arguing that soldiers had advised people to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Libya’s top prosecutor has opened an investigation into the collapse of the two dams that triggered the floods.