Tragedy Strikes as 11,000 Lives Lost in Libya Flood Catastrophe!

Libyan authorities have initiated an investigation into the collapse of two dams that triggered a catastrophic flood in a coastal city, resulting in over 11,000 casualties. The disaster, which unfolded after heavy rains brought by Mediterranean storm Daniel, led to widespread flooding across eastern Libya. Two dams gave way, unleashing a powerful surge of water through Derna’s heart, causing extensive damage and sweeping individuals out to sea.

The Libyan Red Crescent has reported that more than 10,000 people remain missing, while search and rescue teams, six days after the incident, are still scouring the wreckage for bodies and possible survivors. To date, the Red Crescent has confirmed 11,300 fatalities.

Claire Nicolet, who oversees the emergencies department at Doctors Without Borders, noted a high number of discovered bodies and ongoing search efforts. Despite progress in coordinating these efforts and distributing aid, significant support is still required, especially in providing psychological assistance to those who have lost their families. The burial of bodies remains a challenge.

Authorities and aid organizations are concerned about waterborne diseases and the movement of explosive ordnance left behind from Libya’s previous conflicts. Contaminated water has already led to at least 150 cases of diarrhea in Derna, prompting a call for residents to rely on bottled water provided as part of relief efforts.

Libya’s General Prosecutor, al-Sediq al-Sour, has pledged to investigate the dam collapses and the allocation of maintenance funds, including scrutinizing local authorities and past governments. However, conducting such an inquiry in Libya’s complex political landscape poses unique challenges.

Since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled Moammar Gadhafi, Libya has been marked by chaos, with rival administrations controlling different parts of the country and vital infrastructure left neglected.

FAQs related to Tragedy Strikes as 11,000 Lives Lost in Libya Flood Catastrophe

What caused the devastating flood in Libya?

The flood in Libya was caused by heavy rains brought by the Mediterranean storm Daniel.

How many casualties have been reported in the flood?

The flood has resulted in over 11,000 casualties, with more than 10,000 people still missing.

What was the impact of the flood on the city of Derna?

The flood overwhelmed two dams in Derna, causing a wall of water to flood the city, destroying neighborhoods and sweeping individuals into the sea.

What challenges are search and rescue teams facing?

Search and rescue teams are grappling with the recovery of bodies and the search for possible survivors amid the wreckage. They are also concerned about waterborne diseases and explosive ordnance.

What steps are being taken to address waterborne diseases in Derna?

Authorities have urged residents to drink only bottled water, which is being supplied as part of relief efforts, after at least 150 people suffered from diarrhea due to contaminated water.

Why are there concerns about conducting an investigation in Libya?

Libya’s complex political situation, marked by rival administrations and a history of conflict, poses significant challenges to conducting an investigation into the dam collapses and related issues.

What was the condition of the dams that collapsed in Derna?

A 2021 report by a state-run audit agency revealed that the two dams had not been properly maintained despite the allocation of funds for maintenance.

Who conducted maintenance work on the dams, and when was it completed?

A Turkish firm, Arsel Construction Company Ltd., was contracted in 2007 to perform maintenance on the dams. They claimed to have completed the work in November 2012 but did not provide further comment.

How has the flood impacted other areas in eastern Libya?

The storm also affected towns such as Bayda, Susa, Marj, and Shahatt in eastern Libya, displacing tens of thousands of people who sought shelter in government buildings and schools.

Were there any foreigners among the flood victims?

Yes, dozens of foreigners, including individuals from Egypt and Syria, were among the flood victims, some of whom had come to Libya for work or were traveling in hopes of migrating to Europe.

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