Recovery teams running out of body bags as flooding deaths mount in Libya's Derna

Recovery teams are running out of body bags in the Libyan city of Derna, as fears grow of waterborne diseases spreading in the aftermath of catastrophic flooding.

Survivors have been forced to dig with their bare hands to try and find their loved ones.  

Those who were spared in Derna are describing this as a disaster of "biblical proportions".

Sixteen inches of rain fell in just 24 hours - that's the average monthly rainfall 260 times over.

And the anguish being felt now is similarly exponential. 

As the water surged at the weekend, screams echoed across town.

The Red Crescent says at least 11,000 people have died - a figure the mayor believes will double.

"I can't believe it. My father, mother, two brothers, three sisters, my brother's wife and his little daughter, all swept away," said one devastated local man in a Derna hospital.

"I was on the stairs - the water forced me to the wall, but I managed to hang on," he added.

He managed to bury some of his loved ones, but most will be denied even that smallest comfort.

There are not enough body bags to meet the need and the threat of disease is now critical.

"I was on the roof with my family, four floors up. The water collapsed the building. Can you imagine your kids drowning, carried away in front of your eyes," said another man in hospital.

The natural disaster caused by Storm Daniel has been compounded by a man-made catastrophe.

A decade of war has left Libya flailing and vulnerable.  

"This city has been annihilated," a man on the street said.

"There are still victims under the rubble, some are in the sea."

Hope has been washed away along with buildings and entire families.

Derna is a wasteland, and Libya again finds itself drowning in death.