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Libya floods casualties could have been avoided with warning system: WMO chief

Casualties in the major floods in Libya could have been avoided if the country had a functional meteorological service able to issue warnings, the head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday, 14 September 14.

More than 2,000 bodies were buried in the flood-stricken city of Derna, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Petteri Taalas said officials would have been able to carry out evacuations if effective warning systems had been in place.

Rescues have been complicated by political fractures in Libya, which has been at war on-and-off with no strong central government since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.