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Three keys to understanding Libya’s deadly floods



In this aerial photo, debris from buildings destroyed by flash floods litters the muddy ground after a Mediterranean storm. "Daniel" Attacked the city of Derna in eastern Libya,

In this aerial photo, debris from buildings destroyed by flash floods litters the muddy ground after Mediterranean storm Daniel hit the eastern Libyan city of Derna.

Floods caused by Storm Daniel in eastern Libya destroyed parts of the city of Derna, leaving thousands of people dead and unknown numbers missing.

what happened?

The Mediterranean storm reached Libya’s east coast on Sunday night, hitting the city of Benghazi and passing through Schacht, where the ancient Greek cities of Cyrene, al-Marj, al-Bayda and Susa (ancient Apollonia of Cyrene) are located. It continued east. But it struck Delna with special violence.

On Sunday night, heavy rains caused two dams on the Wadi Derna river to burst, sending powerful tsunami-like torrents sweeping across neighborhoods, destroying bridges and heading toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Many roads were closed due to flooding, making access to the disaster site difficult.

What is balance?

Authorities governing eastern Libya, where two rival governments control different parts of the territory, reported on Thursday that 3,800 deaths had been recorded, but there were fears there could be many more. are doing.

The eastern part of the country, where the disaster occurred, is under the control of authorities not recognized by the international community.

A senior official from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said the death toll was “huge”, with thousands dead and potentially 10,000 missing.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that at least 38,640 people have fled in the worst-hit areas of northeastern Libya, including at least 30,000 in Derna, 3,000 in Al-Bayda and 3,000 in Benghazi. There were 2,195 people.

The United Nations agency estimates that there are 884,000 people directly affected by the catastrophe.

Why were there so many deaths in Derna?

Experts said a combination of aging infrastructure, buildings built in violation of urban planning regulations over the past decade, and a lack of preparedness for this type of disaster have turned the city into an open-air graveyard.

Petteri Taalas, director of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), estimated on Thursday that most of the deaths could have been avoided, saying: “A warning could have been issued and emergency management forces could have carried out the evacuation of the population. ” he explained. ”.

A senior United Nations official noted that the years of conflict that has plagued Libya have nearly destroyed weather observation networks.

Libya, an oil-rich country, descended into chaos and war after a popular uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Two governments are currently vying for power, with the U.N.-recognized capital, Tripoli, in the west. The eastern region where the disaster occurred.

arrival of help

Aid convoys from Tripolitania in the country’s west began arriving in Derna on Monday morning. Abdelhamid Dbeibah’s internationally recognized government said it would deploy two medical planes, a helicopter, 87 doctors, a team of rescue workers and search dogs.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Director Martin Griffiths on Wednesday announced $10 million from the emergency fund, with a “strong team” on the ground to support and finance the international response. He said that it has been done.

Mr Griffiths declared this Friday that the “extent” of the tragedy was still unknown.

The World Food Program (WFP) reported that it had begun providing aid to more than 5,000 families displaced by the floods, saying there were thousands of people “without food or shelter.”

The United Nations, the United States and several countries in the Middle East and North Africa have also pledged to send aid, and foreign rescue teams have already been sent to try to find survivors.

Source: Diario.Elmundo

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