10 C

International aid accelerates in Libya after deadly floods



A man carries a child on his shoulders as he passes through a flash flood-hit area in Derna on September 14, 2023.

A man carries a child on his shoulders as he passes through a flash flood-hit area in Derna on September 14, 2023.

International aid to Libya increased on Thursday after floods left thousands dead and missing in eastern Libya, as the search for survivors continues.

Planes and ships from countries in the Middle East and Europe are delivering emergency aid to the North African country torn by more than a decade of conflict.

In addition to the dead and missing, tens of thousands of people have been displaced by Sunday’s flash flooding associated with Storm Daniel, which particularly affected the Mediterranean city of Derna.

At least 30,000 people have been left homeless and access to the affected areas remains extremely difficult, with roads and bridges destroyed and electricity and telephone networks damaged.

AFP reporters saw several trucks loaded with food manage to enter Derna.

Water that fell between Sunday and Monday night caused two dams to burst in the city, triggering a dizzying flood comparable to a tsunami that swept away buildings, vehicles and people.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations agency, said most of the casualties “could have been avoided” had early warning and emergency management systems been in place.

“We lost friends and loved ones. They were either buried under the mud or dragged by the water until they reached the sea,” Abdelaziz Bousmiya, a 29-year-old man, told AFP. He said at least 10% of Derna’s population of 100,000 people would have died.

The United Nations has pledged $10 million to support Libyan survivors, including at least 30,000 people left homeless in Derna.

On Thursday, lifeguards continued to remove bodies from flooded buildings and the sea.

Rescue teams made the eerie discovery while removing water from a flooded house, as confirmed by AFP. It was the body of a woman and her son that she was carrying in her arms.

immense challenges

The challenges facing humanitarian workers are enormous.

“Roads are blocked, destroyed and flooded, making access to humanitarian assistance difficult,” the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced this Thursday that it had sent additional teams to distribute humanitarian aid, adding that it had “provided 6,000 body bags.”

Meanwhile, the World Food Program (WFP) said it had begun providing aid to more than 5,000 families displaced by the floods.

A number of other countries also announced they would send aid, including Britain, Egypt, France, Turkey, Italy, Algeria, Qatar and Tunisia. The United Arab Emirates sent two planes carrying 150 tons of aid.

combination of factors

Oil-rich Libya is still recovering from the war and chaos that followed the NATO-backed uprising that toppled the regime and life of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The country was divided between two rival governments: the internationally recognized United Nations administration based in the capital, Tripoli, in the west, and a separate regime in the east.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 3,840 deaths had been recorded in the city of Derna, of which 3,190 had already been buried, said Lieutenant Tarek al-Kharaz, a spokesman for the government’s interior ministry in the east.

The victims included at least 400 foreigners, mainly Sudanese and Egyptians.

According to authorities in the eastern region, more than 2,400 people remain missing.

However, some media outlets, citing other officials, have given higher estimates.

Officials from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported that 10,000 people may be missing.

Another Red Cross official warned of the risks associated with anti-personnel mines being washed away by water to other areas.

Source: Diario.Elmundo

Subscribe to our magazine


━ more like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here