Attorney General publishes Derna flooding investigation report

Jan 5, 2024 | Libyan actors

On 5 January, Attorney General al-Sadiq al-Sour published his investigation report on the Derna disaster. The investigations revealed negligence in the maintenance of the two dams, the lack of an alarm system in both dams and the neglect of cleaning work for the upper openings and routine maintenance of the dams. In addition, cracks were found in both dams. The drainage system in the wadi was also not functioning as intended, as silt had been accumulating for years without ever being removed.

The report noted that all those who have been responsible for the dams since 2003 bear responsibility for the disaster. The verdicts of the 14 defendants so far, including the mayor of Derna, will be pronounced on 11 January. According to al-Sour, the dam failures could have been avoided if the suggestions made by a Swiss company in 2003 to modify and maintain the dams had been taken into account.

The total official number of deaths reported from the flooding is 4,540, though the true total is likely closer to 11,000 due to the high numbers of missing people.