Rescue Efforts Underway in Eastern Libya After Devastating Storm
Rescue workers are tirelessly working to save and recover thousands of lives in eastern Libya, where the powerful Mediterranean storm Daniel has caused widespread destruction in a country already grappling with instability.
Massive Flooding and Unaccounted Lives
Emergency workers have made a grim discovery, locating 1,500 bodies in Derna, Libya. However, the true extent of the tragedy is still unknown, as thousands more remain missing after massive floods destroyed dams and swept through entire neighborhoods in and around the city.
On Sunday night, disaster struck as the dams outside the neighborhoods collapsed, unleashing a torrent of water. The already fragile infrastructure of the region, coupled with the ongoing power struggle between rival factions, worsened the situation.
Devastation and Displacement
The destruction of the dams led to flash floods pouring down Wadi Derna, a river that runs through the city. The force of the water and mud carried away structures, displacing over 40,000 people. Tamer Ramadan, Libya envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, describes the situation as “as devastating as the situation in Morocco,” where an earthquake has claimed the lives of approximately 3,000 people.
The United States State Department expressed its condolences and offered assistance to Libya in a statement released on Monday. They are coordinating with UN partners and Libyan authorities to support ongoing relief efforts.
Aid finally started to arrive in Libya on Tuesday, more than 36 hours after the flash flooding began. Satellite images vividly depict the before and after scenes of the ravaged city of Derna.
Exactly two months ago, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya raised concerns about the abductions, arbitrary arrests, and disappearances of citizens and public figures in the country. They emphasized the negative impact of such actions on national unity, transparent elections, and reconciliation.
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