News Update


Libya floods: Derna city appears to have been devastated by a tsunami,

“I was astounded by what I saw; it’s like a tsunami,” Hisham Chkiouat, an official from the eastern administration, said.

Derna, which has a population of almost 100,000 people, is under water after two dams and four bridges fell.

According to the Red Crescent, up to 10,000 persons are missing as a result of the floods caused by Storm Daniel.

The storm, which arrived on Sunday, also impacted the eastern cities of Benghazi, Soussa, and Al-Marj.

More on the floods’ aftermath on BBC Africa Live.
Mr Chkiouat, the aviation minister and a member of the eastern government’s emergency response council, told BBC Newshour that the collapse of one of Derna’s dams has pulled substantial areas of the city into the sea.

“A massive neighborhood has been destroyed, and the number of victims is growing by the hour.”

“There are currently 1,500 dead. Over 2,000 people have gone missing. “We don’t have exact figures, but it’s a disaster,” he added, adding that “the dam that collapsed hasn’t been maintained in a long time.”

A flash flood-damaged region near Derna, eastern Libya, on September 11, 2023.
Caption for an image,
It’s believed that 25% of Derna has been destroyed.
As a precautionary measure, the authorities in Derna issued an overnight curfew on Sunday, instructing people not to leave their homes.

According to water engineering experts, the upper dam, about 12 kilometers (eight miles) from the city, failed first, sending water sweeping down the river valley towards the second dam, which is estimated to be about one kilometer from the low-lying part of Derna, where neighborhoods were inundated.

Mr Chkiouat had already told Reuters that a fourth of the city had vanished.

According to Tamer Ramadan, the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Libya, the death toll is likely to be “huge.”

“Our teams on the ground are still doing their assessment,” he stated through video connection from neighboring Tunisia. We don’t have a specific figure yet. So far, the number of missing people has surpassed 10,000.”

A glimpse of wreckage in disaster zones after Storm Daniel destroyed the region in Derna, Libya, on September 11, 2023.
Derna’s whole neighborhoods were flooded out to sea, according to the image description.
Along with places in the east, the western city of Misrata was affected by the flooding.

Libya has been in political turmoil since long-serving ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and murdered in 2011, essentially dividing the oil-rich country between an interim, internationally recognized government in Tripoli and another in the east.

According to Libyan journalist Abdulkader Assad, this is impeding rescue attempts since the numerous administrations are unable to respond to a natural disaster with quickness.

“In Libya, there are no rescue teams, no trained rescuers.” “Over the last 12 years, everything has been about war,” he told the BBC.

“In Libya, there are two governments… and this is actually slowing down the assistance that is coming to Libya because it is a little bit confusing.” People are offering assistance, but it is not forthcoming.”


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