Flood death toll in eastern Libya reaches 5,300 with many more missing, officials say

The death toll from devastating floods in eastern Libya has reached 5,300, a local health official said Wednesday.

The number of deaths is expected to continue rising as search and rescue teams recover more bodies in what the United Nations has described as a "calamity of epic proportions."

More than 7,000 people have been injured, per the Libyan Interior Ministry. At least 9,000 people are believed to be missing, according to the Libya Interior Ministry and some 30,000 are displaced from their homes in the flood-hit areas, according to the International Organization for Migration.

MORE: Over 5,200 people feared dead, another 10,000 missing after flooding in Libya, officials say

Mediterranean storm Daniel is behind the widespread flooding in the North African nation, as it washed away entire neighborhoods over the weekend and swept bodies out to sea.

Libya's National Center of Meteorology reported that more than 16 inches of rain fell in the northeastern city of Bayda within a 24-hour period to Sunday, according to the flood tracking website Floodlist.

The nearby port city of Derna was the worst affected following the collapse of two dams, which wiped out a quarter of the area. The city has been declared a disaster zone, with electricity and communication having been cut off, according to local officials.

In Derna alone, 6,000 people are feared to be missing and more than 20,000 displaced, according to the International Rescue Committee, which described the flooding as an "unprecedented humanitarian crisis."

Gen. Khalifa Haftar, head of the powerful Libyan military faction that controls the eastern part of the divided country, confirmed in a televised address on Tuesday that rescue and relief efforts were underway.

"We issued immediate instructions to use all our capabilities, provide the needed support of all urgent medical equipment, operate medical convoys and to allocate shelters to those who lost their homes," Haftar said. "We have directed the government to form a specialized committee to assess the damage, instantly begin the reconstruction of roads to facilitate transportation, restore the electricity and to take all immediate and needed measures in that regards."

The United States, Germany, Italy, Iran, Qatar and Turkey are among the countries that have said they have sent or are ready to send aid to Libya. But getting aid into the affected areas has proven difficult with many roads blocked.

Some aid has started to arrive, including from Egypt, but rescue efforts have also been hampered by the current political situation in Libya, with the country split between two warring governments -- one in the east and the other in the west.

Egypt’s presidency said Wednesday it would send a Mistral helicopter carrier to Libya to serve as a field hospital. Egypt has sent three military aid planes carrying drugs, medical supplies and search and rescue teams. It said it was sending another 10 aircraft carrying medical staff to help evacuate survivors.

Egypt has recovered the bodies of 87 Egyptians killed in Libya’s floods on Wednesday, the Egyptian emigration ministry said in a statement. TV footage showed a line of ambulances carrying bodies driving through crowds of wailing families in a village in the Beni Suef province, home to most of the victims.

Officials had said earlier at least 170 Egyptians had been confirmed dead, according to Osama Ali, a spokesman for the Ambulance and Emergency Center in Libya.

ABC News' Zoe Magee, Joe Simonetti and Ayat Al-Tawy contributed to this report.

Flood death toll in eastern Libya reaches 5,300 with many more missing, officials say originally appeared on abcnews.go.com