In a heart-wrenching turn of events, Libya finds itself grappling with the aftermath of catastrophic flash floods that have left over 2,300 people dead and another 10,000 missing. The disaster unfolded as flash floods tore through the eastern coastal city of Derna, shattering homes and causing widespread devastation.
Global concern has surged, prompting multiple nations to extend offers of aid and rescue teams to assist Libya in coping with this overwhelming calamity. A UN official described the situation as “a calamity of epic proportions.”
Derna, a Mediterranean coastal city of 100,000 residents, bore the brunt of this catastrophe. The raging waters caused multi-storey buildings along the riverbanks to collapse, sweeping away houses and cars in their relentless path. Libyan emergency services reported the initial death toll in Derna to be over 2,300, with more than 5,000 people missing and approximately 7,000 injured.
The floods were triggered by torrential rains from Storm Daniel, which struck Libya after causing havoc in Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Derna, situated 250 kilometres west of Benghazi, was severely affected as its dry riverbed swelled into a destructive torrent of mud-brown water, demolishing major bridges along its course.
The tragic consequences of this natural disaster have sent shockwaves through Libya, a nation already grappling with the aftermath of years of war and political turmoil. The death toll, as well as the number of missing persons, is expected to rise further, compounding the nation’s grief.
As Libya faces this unprecedented tragedy, nations across the world are offering their support and assistance. The United States, the European Union, Italy, and several other countries have pledged aid to help Libya recover from this catastrophic flooding.
In response to this devastating event, Libya’s UN-brokered government has declared three days of national mourning and emphasized the need for unity among its citizens in the face of this disaster. Aid convoys are routed, medical teams are mobilized, and efforts are underway to provide relief and support to the affected population.
As the world stands in solidarity with Libya, the enormity of the disaster serves as a stark reminder of the resilience of communities in the face of adversity and the importance of international cooperation during times of crisis.