King and Queen ‘desperately saddened’ by ‘horrific’ Libya floods

The King has said he and the Queen are “desperately saddened” after thousands of people died following “horrific” flooding in Libya.

Storm Daniel hit the coastal city of Derna and other eastern parts of the North African country on Sunday, leading to floods, with the death toll so far reaching 5,000.

Charles reaffirmed the UK’s support for the country in a message sent to the head of Libya’s Presidential Council, Dr Mohamed Menfi, on Wednesday evening.

It read: “Your Excellency, my wife and I are so desperately saddened by the devastating impact and loss of life caused by Storm Daniel and the subsequent floods.

The flooded city of Derna, Libya
The flooded city of Derna, Libya (Muhammad J Elalwany/AP)

“We mourn with all those who have lost their loved ones, and continue to pray for everyone whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by the horrific floods.

“I admire greatly all those who are engaged tirelessly in the rescue efforts in such dire conditions, and praise their selfless bravery.

“I know that my Government stands ready to support your needs. Charles R.”

His message comes after the UK Government announced support “worth up to £1 million”.

The Foreign Office said the funding was an “initial package” to provide assistance for those most affected by the devastation.

Thousands of people are missing and more are homeless as a result of the floods, with authorities struggling to send support to the area.

Aid workers who managed to reach Derna, which was cut off on Sunday night when flash floods washed away most of the access roads, described devastation in its centre, where search and rescue teams combed shattered apartment buildings for bodies.

Local health officials believe the number of deaths is likely to increase since search and rescue teams are still retrieving bodies from the streets, buildings and the sea.