In a devastating turn of events, the eastern Libyan city of Derna has been ravaged by catastrophic floods brought on by Storm Daniel. As the storm made landfall in eastern Libya, it unleashed torrents of water, leading to the collapse of dams, the destruction of infrastructure, and the loss of thousands of lives. With more than 2,000 people feared dead, Libya faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
Ahmed Mismari, the spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA), which controls eastern Libya, provided chilling details of the disaster in a televised news conference. He explained that the calamity ensued when dams located above Derna gave way, causing entire neighborhoods, along with their residents, to be swept into the sea. In the wake of this catastrophe, three bridges were obliterated, compounding the destruction.
The scale of the disaster is visually evident in the numerous photos and videos circulating online. These images depict a grim scene of submerged cars, collapsed buildings, and torrents of water engulfing the city’s streets. Othman Abduljalil, the health minister in Libya’s eastern parliament-backed government, described the situation in Derna as “catastrophic,” with bodies scattered throughout the affected areas.
Jalel Harchaoui, a Libya specialist, has expressed grave concerns, suggesting that the death toll could potentially reach several thousand people. Tragically, during ongoing rescue efforts, seven Libyan army personnel have gone missing, adding to the heart-wrenching crisis.
Storm Daniel’s destructive path did not begin in Libya; it first caused devastating flooding in Greece before moving into the Mediterranean. There, it transformed into a tropical-like cyclone, referred to as a medicane, amplifying its potency and destructive capabilities.
Libya, a country with a population of six million, has been plagued by division between rival administrations in the east and west since 2014, following the 2011 uprising against late dictator Muammar Gaddafi. In the face of this unprecedented disaster, both eastern and western governments have declared three days of mourning, uniting in grief for the countless lives lost and the extensive devastation left in the wake of Storm Daniel.
The international community is closely monitoring the situation in Libya, with humanitarian organizations and neighboring countries offering assistance to mitigate the suffering caused by this tragic natural disaster.
Sources By Agencies