Libyan: Up to 2,000 feared drowned after Libyan city hit by ‘catatrophic’ storm floods
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
According to the head of one of the country’s two rival governments, up to 2,000 people may have drowned after a powerful storm caused catastrophic floods in the eastern Libyan city of Derna. Local leaders in the eastern city of Derna say thousands are missing after two old dams collapsed overnight. Patrick Wintour and agencies in Benghazi Mon 11 Sep 2023 20.03 BST
The eastern-based government’s prime minister, Ossama Hamad, stated on Monday that thousands of people were believed to be missing following the weekend’s torrential rains. The Red Crescent in Benghazi had estimated that 250 people had died, but Derna, the hardest-hit area, remained largely cut off, and city leaders said the situation was “out of control and a catastrophe.”
A representative for the Libyan armed force in the east, Significant General Ahmed Al-Mismari, recommended that upwards of 5,000 to 6,000 were absent in Derna, which has a populace of 100,000.
With communications disrupted and administration hampered by a decade-long power struggle between two rival governments supported by their own militias, it is difficult to estimate the precise number of dead.
Help organizations and affluent Bay states, for example, the Unified Bedouin Emirates were hurrying crisis help to the district, with neighborhood authorities saying they required cots, food and water.
Two old dams collapsed during a powerful storm and heavy floods, releasing a swollen, swift-moving river that simply washed away at least one neighborhood, resulting in the deaths.
When the flood struck, it is unknown how many people were sleeping in the apartments. Occupants previously realized the dams had fallen under the heaviness of the water when they heard a blast around midnight.
On social media, a resident said: After dawn we went out to the roads of Derna, however the roads were not there.”
Ahmed Mohamed, a Derna resident, stated: We were snoozing and when we awakened we found water attacking the house. We are attempting to escape from the inside.
“The situation is catastrophic and out of control,” the Derna municipal council stated on their official Facebook page. As a result of the collapse of the majority of the city’s roads, it called for international intervention and the opening of a sea corridor.
The Red Crescent’s Kais Fhakeri said: We recorded at least 150 deaths following building collapses. We anticipate a 250-person death toll. The circumstance is catastrophic.
Weighty floods washed away vehicles, film broadcast by eastern Libya’s Almostakbal television showed. The channel also shared images of a collapsed road that ran between Sousse and Shahat, home to the Unesco-listed archaeological site Cyrene. Three days of mourning were declared by Libya’s eastern-based parliament. Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, the adversary UN perceived Libyan head of the state situated in Tripoli in Libya’s west, additionally declared three days of grieving in every one of the impacted urban communities, referring to them as “war zones”.
Dbeibah’s administration is perceived by the National Bank of Libya, which dispenses assets to government divisions the nation over.
On Sunday afternoon, the storm struck eastern Libya, particularly the coastal town of Jabal al-Akhdar and Benghazi, where a curfew was imposed and schools remained closed for several days.