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‘The waters carried my son away in front of my eyes’: anguished Libyans mourn lost loved ones

Relatives grieve and search in desperation as Derna’s mayor fears death toll from floods may exceed 20,000

Omar al-Rifadi has been searching for his missing 20-year-old daughter ever since disaster struck the Libyan city of Derna on Sunday, when she disappeared, lost in the darkness amid a catastrophic flood that claimed the lives of thousands and swept many into the sea.

“I walked on foot to look for her. I went to all the hospitals and schools. But luck was not on my side,” the 52-year-old said, tears streaming down his face.

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