Massive Flood in Libya Leaves Thousands Missing and 2,000 Feared Dead Featured

By agencies September 12, 2023 3374

A massive flood caused by Mediterranean Storm Daniel has wreaked havoc in the city of Derna, Libya. The flood has resulted in catastrophic flooding, with entire neighborhoods being engulfed by water. The Libyan government has declared the eastern Cyrenaica province a disaster area.

Thousands Feared Dead and Missing

The situation is dire, with around 2,000 people feared dead and thousands more missing. The head of the Red Crescent aid group in the region has confirmed 150 deaths, but this number is expected to rise. Prime Minister Ossama Hamad of the east Libyan government believes that 2,000 people have lost their lives in Derna, and the number of missing individuals is estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000.

Causes of the Disaster

The spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA) explained that the disaster occurred when dams above Derna collapsed, causing entire neighborhoods and their residents to be swept into the sea. The extent of the devastation is evident in videos shared by residents, showing the destruction of entire areas along the river that runs through the city.

Political Divide and Lack of Infrastructure

Libya has been politically divided since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising, which led to ongoing conflict. The lack of a central government has resulted in lawlessness, limited investment in infrastructure, and minimal regulation of construction. The country is now divided between rival governments in the east and west, each supported by different militias.

International Support and Mourning

Foreign governments have offered support in the wake of this tragedy. The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, has pledged humanitarian aid and search-and-rescue teams. Turkey and neighboring Algeria have also conveyed their condolences. Prime Minister Hamad has announced three days of mourning and ordered flags across the country to be lowered to half-mast.

This devastating flood in Libya serves as a reminder of the importance of strong infrastructure and a united government to protect its citizens in times of crisis.