Cairo — Officials in eastern Libya have retrieved the bodies of more than 1,000 victims from the rubble in a coastal city that has been inundated by devastating floods, an official said Tuesday after visiting the devastated area. An Interior Ministry spokesman says the death toll has exceeded 5,300 people killed in the city of Derna alone from the flooding unleashed by Mediterranean Storm Daniel.

Tamer Ramadan, Libya’s envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), previously said 10,000 people were missing after the unprecedented flooding. Speaking to reporters at a U.N. briefing in Geneva via videoconference from Tunisia, he said the death toll was “huge” and expected to reach into the thousands in the coming days. Three IFRC volunteers died while helping victims of the floods, the organisation’s chief, Jagan Chapagain, said on social media.

In Derna, a city of around 125,000 inhabitants, Reuters journalists saw wrecked neighbourhoods, their buildings washed out, and cars flipped on their roofs in streets covered in mud and rubble left by a wide torrent after dams burst.

Mohamad al-Qabisi, director of the Wahda Hospital, said 1,700 people had died in one of the city’s two districts and 500 in the other.

Reuters journalists saw many bodies laid out on the ground in the hospital corridors. As more bodies were brought to the hospital, people looked at them, trying to identify missing family members.