- Devastating Floods Claim Thousands of Lives in Derna
- Desperate Pleas for Humanitarian Aid and Assistance
- Libya Faces Overwhelming Challenges in the Aftermath of the Catastrophic Floods
Floods in the Libyan city of Derna are believed to have claimed the lives of more than 5,300 persons, according to an official.
“The sea is constantly dumping dozens of bodies,” Hisham Chkiouat, a minister in Libya’s eastern administration said.
As victims lie wrapped in body bags and others are buried in mass graves, there have been desperate demands for additional humanitarian aid.
A river of floodwater resembling a tsunami swept through Derna on Sunday after a dam ruptured during Storm Daniel.
Rescue teams are scouring the rubble of collapsed structures in search of survivors, but optimism is waning and the death toll is expected to continue rising.
The United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Libya reported on Wednesday that at least 10,000 people are missing, while an estimated 30,000 people have been displaced.
Mortuaries and hospitals are overflowing with corpses.
Najib Tarhoni, a doctor who has been working in a facility near Derna, stated that more assistance is required.
“I have friends in this hospital who have lost the majority of their families; they have lost everyone,” he said.
“All we need are individuals who comprehend the circumstance, logistical assistance, and dogs that can detect and retrieve buried individuals. We need only humane assistance from individuals who know what they’re doing.”
Mohammed al-Ghoush, the president of the Libyan doctors’ union, told Turkish media that there is also an urgent need for specialized forensic and rescue teams and others who specialize in body recovery.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has announced that an emergency team will arrive in Derna on Thursday “to assess medical needs and donate emergency medical kits to care for the wounded as well as body bags to the Libyan Red Crescent”
The streets are covered in mud and debris and strewn with overturned automobiles.
Mr. Chkiouat, a local official, stated that certain areas of Derna have “disappeared, completely vanished.”
“Imagine, then, that a residential neighborhood has been completely demolished; you cannot see it, it no longer exists.
“I’ve never witnessed anything like this. It certainly is a deluge.”
Johr Ali, a Libyan journalist currently residing in Istanbul whose family is in Libya, described the situation as “doomsday.”
“The screams of the children, the bodies littering the streets,” he told.
According to him, he spoke with the only family to endure the flooding in their neighborhood.
“They described the situation after the floods receded, saying that a woman was dangling from the streetlights after being swept away by the water.
“She remained there until her death. They witnessed their nephew’s drowning death in the streets.
The Libya Football Federation (LFF) reports that several elite footballers have perished.
It released the identities of four deceased players: Shaheen Al-Jamil, Monder Sadaqa, and the brothers Saleh and Ayoub Sasi.
Also affected by Sunday’s tempest were the cities of Soussa, Al-Marj, and Misrata.
Col Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow and assassination in 2011 left Libya in a state of political anarchy, with an internationally recognized interim government in Tripoli and a rival government in the east.
However, despite the division, the Tripoli government has sent medical supplies, body bags, physicians, and paramedics.