Libya, a family saved from the rubble 8 days after the disaster. In Derna there was a race against time to search for the 9,000 missing people


By John

A glimmer of light, a miracle. Lives saved a Derna which keep alive the hopes of thousands of people who desperately search for traces of their missing relatives, when they are still alive 9,000 are missing. Eight days after the disaster that transformed the city into a open-air morguea family of five was rescued by a rescue team that made its way through the rubble and debris of the buildings crumbled by theflood in a valley not far from the center. It’s not the only episode of recent days: dozens have been pulled out alive, all in disbelief. “I wouldn’t have imagined being able to survive,” he says among many Ibrahim: he was trapped with his wife in the five-storey building which collapsed after the land subsided, torn away from violence of water. In the midst of the rubble for four days she called her 12-year-old daughter, without receiving an answer.

He was saved with his wife by a Maltese team, he had lost all hope of finding the little girl. But no, she too – dragged away from her parents on that night of horror – had been rescued by another team not far away and her father was able to hug her again. Then there is the video that soon went viral of a son looking for his mother amid the rubble. “Mom, are you alive?” the boy shouts. A long silence finally broken by the woman’s voice: «My children, are you alive?», she manages to say while she is still trapped under the debris. But the rescuers, who were also joined in the last few hours by divers from the Navyare faced with increasing difficulties in operations and warn that time is running out, the chances of finding more people alive is reduced to a minimum, to miracles. The UN meanwhile it continues to warn about the risk of epidemics, “local authorities, humanitarian agencies and the WHO team are all worried about the risk of spreading diseases, also due to contaminated water and poor hygiene”, while the Libyan Red Crescent does not rule out the need to isolate the city.

“The evacuation of Derna remains one of the options, everything depends on the health situation in the area,” said the head of the organization, Abdul Salam al-Hajj. In the troubled context of a divided country, grappling with the difficult management of aid and reconstruction, the political flare-up that is breaking out in the region is not surprising. Hundreds of people, thousands according to the organizers, gathered in the afternoon in Derna, near the mosque Al-Sahabachanting slogans against the eastern government and asking for it dissolution of Parliament. Which is based on Tobruk under the auspices of Generalissimo Khalifa Haftar and of his children, the firstborn Elseddik and the alleged dolphin Saddam, general head of the emergency committee for crisis management. «Neither east nor west, United Libya», shouted the demonstrators in Derna. Now we will have to wait for the response from Benghazi.