As ‘catastrophic’ storm floods hit a city in Libya, up to 2,000 drownings are expected.

Up to 2,000 drownings are anticipated as ‘catastrophic’ storm floods strike a city in Libya.

Following the midnight collapse of two aging dams, local authorities in the eastern city of Derna report thousands missing.

According to the leader of one of Libya’s two competing governments, up to 2,000 people may have perished in the city of Derna after a strong storm caused catastrophic floods.

Ossama Hamad, the prime minister of the east-based government, said on the Libyan network Almasar that “more than 2,000 dead and thousands missing” had been reported in the city of Derna alone as a result of the torrential rains that Mediterranean storm Daniel brought over the weekend. These numbers have not been verified by medical or emergency services sources.

Derna, the worst-hit district, remained largely shut off, with local officials alleging the situation was “out of control and a catastrophe.” The Red Crescent in Benghazi had estimated the dead toll closer to just 250.

Maj Gen Ahmed Al-Mismari, a spokesman for the eastern Libyan army, claimed that the 100,000-person city may have 5,000 to 6,000 missing people.

With communication lines down and administration impeded by a decade-long power struggle between two competing administrations, each supported by its own militias, it is difficult to estimate the exact number of fatalities.

Early reports indicated that dozens of villages and towns were “severely affected,” according to Georgette Gagnon, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Libya, with widespread flooding, infrastructure damage, and fatalities.

“I am extremely grieved by (storm) Daniel’s catastrophic effects on the nation… She said on X, formerly known as Twitter, “I call on all local, national, and international partners to join forces to deliver urgent humanitarian help to the people in eastern Libya.

According to Abdel-Rahim Mazek, the director of the town’s primary medical facility, at least 46 persons have been reported killed in the eastern town of Bayda. The cities of Susa, Shahatt, Omar al-Mokhtar, and Marj also claimed fatalities.

Aid organizations and affluent Gulf nations like the United Arab Emirates

The killings in Derna happened after a strong storm and significant flooding caused two outdated dams to fall, releasing a swollen, swiftly flowing river that simply wiped away at least one neighborhood.

A video that was uploaded online shows the city in great destruction. Along a river that flows through the heart of the city and descends from the mountains, entire residential neighborhoods were eliminated. Previously distant from the river apartment complexes had partially crumbled into the mud.

The number of occupants who were asleep in the apartments when the flood struck is unknown. When they heard an explosion in the middle of the night, the locals initially realized the dams had given way under the weight of the water.

On social media, one local wrote: “After sunrise, we went out to the streets of Derna, but the streets were not there.”

Ahmed Mohamed, a local of Derna, said: “We were asleep and when we woke up, water was engulfing the house. We are trying to escape from inside.

The Derna municipal council declared that “the situation is catastrophic and out of control” on their official Facebook page. In light of the fact that most of the city’s roadways had collapsed, it asked for international assistance and the establishment of a maritime corridor.

A representative of the Derna municipal council told the local TV station Libya al-Ahrar that in addition to the dams, four major bridges had also collapsed. According to local media, there is no electricity.

The Red Crescent’s Kais Fhakeri stated: “We reported at least 150 deaths following the fall of buildings. The death toll will likely reach 250. The scenario is quite disastrous.

Vehicles were washed away in footage that was posted by Almostakbal TV in eastern Libya. The station additionally shared images of a road that had fallen between Sousse and Shahat, the location of the Unesco-listed Cyrene archaeological monument.

Three days have been set aside for mourning by Libya’s eastern-based parliament. The alternative UN-recognized prime minister of Libya, Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, who is located in Tripoli in western Libya, likewise declared three days of mourning in all the affected cities and referred to them as “disaster areas.”

The Central Bank of Libya, which distributes money to government agencies all around the nation, recognizes Dbeibah’s government.

Since the 2011 revolt that overthrew and ultimately murdered longstanding leader Moammar Gadhafi, Libya has been without a central government, which has led to decreased investment in the nation’s roads and governmental services as well as low oversight of private construction.

Derna proper and Sirte were under the influence of extremist groups for years, including at one stage members of the Islamic State organization, until they were driven out in 2018 by forces loyal to the east-based government.

Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, Brega, and Es Sidra were the four oil ports that were shut down as of Saturday night.

On Sunday afternoon, the storm pounded eastern Libya, mainly Jabal al-Akhdar, a coastal town, but also Benghazi, where a curfew was imposed and schools were suspended for several hours.

It offered its sympathies for the fatalities and declared that it was “prepared to support municipal and local government efforts to respond to this emergency and provide immediate humanitarian assistance.”

Emmanuel Macron, president of France, expressed “solidarity with the Libyan people” and announced that his nation was mobilizing resources to deliver emergency relief.

Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the US state department, offered “sympathies and condolences” to people affected by the flooding and stated that Washington was collaborating with the UN and the Libyan government to aid with relief efforts.

Authorities in Egypt issued a warning for the country’s northern shore, which borders eastern Libya, and declared that they were starting to make preparations to lessen the effects of storm Daniel.

There will likely experience additional days of severe rain, according to weather analysts.

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