Hurricane Daniel, Libya devastated by floods: over 2 thousand dead, thousands missing

John

By John

An unprecedented massacre. The violent floods caused by the torrential rains triggered by the passage of Hurricane Daniel have caused a disaster in eastern Libya, in particular in Derna, which from the photos and videos circulating in recent hours appears dramatically submerged by the waters. According to the prime minister of the government of Cyrenaica, Osama Hammad, supported by the parliament of Tobruk, in this city which overlooks the Mediterranean and which has over 100,000 inhabitants there are “at least 2,000 dead and thousands missing”. A new emergency front therefore opens in the region after the earthquake in Morocco, alarming the two authorities of the country and the international community. Complicating the situation in Derna was the simultaneous collapse of two dams which – according to local sources cited by The Libya Observer – “released over 33 million cubic meters of water which generated devastating floods”.

In Tripoli, the prime minister of the Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, decreed three days of mourning, while for his part Prime Minister Hammad announced two public holidays for all sectors of the east of the country, with the exception of the security services , health and emergency. These areas in eastern Libya are home to the main oil fields and terminals: the National Petroleum Company (Noc) has announced a state of maximum alert and the suspension of flights between production sites where activity has been drastically reduced. ¬ęThe Italian government is carefully following the consequences of the floods. We are in contact with the Libyan authorities to evaluate the type of aid to send immediately to the Libyan people. At the moment there are no Italians involved”, wrote Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on X in the evening. France is also in the field, which is “mobilizing resources to provide aid”, promised Emmanuel Macron. While in a message on social media, Tunisian President Kais Saied announced that he had “authorized immediate coordination with the Libyan authorities for emergency aid by deploying the necessary human and logistical means”. In addition to these countries, Egypt, Algeria and Qatar are also moving. Described by experts as an “extreme phenomenon due to the amount of water that fell”, the storm had also hit Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria in recent days, killing at least 27 people. Then, after having dumped intense rainfall into the sea in recent days, over the past weekend it reached land in Cyrenaica, flooding a vast area ranging from Benghazi, where a curfew has been imposed and schools are closed, to El Beida, with winds reaching speeds of up to 180 kilometers per hour, according to the Arab Regional Meteorological Center. Precipitation was estimated between 50 and 250 mm. According to the Libyan National Meteorological Center, the storm is expected to move further east, around the Jaghbub areas, and reach the regions bordering Egypt. The United Nations in Libya is closely following the emergency. “We express our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and our thoughts to all those affected”, said the UN support mission in the North African country (UNSMIL).