In a devastating turn of events, eastern Libya has been ravaged by Storm Daniel, leading to the estimated death of up to 3,000 people. More than 10,000 are currently missing. The catastrophe has been exacerbated by the bursting of two dams, which resulted in the destruction of approximately a quarter of the city of Derna, home to around 100,000 residents.
The floods were caused by heavy rainfall that began on Sunday. The two dams that burst were located in the Jebel Akhdar mountains, east of Derna. The floods have also caused widespread damage to infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and power lines.
The Libyan government has declared a state of emergency in Derna and surrounding areas. The UN has declared that the floods are a major humanitarian crisis for Libya, which is already struggling to recover from years of civil war – a conflict instigated by the U.S. and French’s backed militias who toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
Mabooka Elmesmary, a journalist on the ground in Derna, described the situation as “unbelievably disastrous” as debris-strewn roads, toppled lampposts, and overturned cars now paint a bleak picture of what is remaining of the city where tens of thousands remain displaced.
The death toll is likely to rise as rescue teams continue to search for missing people. The full extent of the damage and the number of casualties remains uncertain as ongoing rescue and recovery operations continue.
It’s worth noting that these floods occurred shortly after another natural disaster, an earthquake of 6.8 magnitude, struck another country in North of Africa, Morocco, just days before Storm Daniel devastated Libya.
Death toll caused by the catastrophe of the earthquake that is estimated to be nearing 3,000 as rescuers reach more towns. The Friday’s earthquake is considered Morocco’s deadliest in more than 60 years.