Most of the deaths due to floods in Libya's Derna could have been averted if early warning and emergency management systems had functioned properly, said Petteri Taalas, head of the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, APA reports citing WION.
"With better functioning coordination in the crisis-wracked country, "they could have issued the warnings and the emergency management forces would have been able to carry out the evacuation of the people, and we could have avoided most of the human casualties, he said.
Taalas said that the lack of weather forecasting and dissemination and action on early warnings was a large contributor to the size of the disaster. He also said that the years-long internal conflict in the country meant its meteorological "observing network has been very much destroyed, the IT systems have been destroyed."
"The flooding events came and there was no evacuation taking place because there was not the proper early warning systems in place," the WMO chief further told reporters. "Of course, we cannot fully avoid economic losses, but we could have also minimized those losses by having proper services in place," he added.