- Deadly Storm Causes Flooding in Libya
- Conflicting Reports on Death Toll
- Widespread Devastation and Humanitarian Crisis
According to the Libyan Red Cross, at least 200 people have perished after a powerful storm caused flooding in the country.
However, the leader of the internationally unrecognized east Libyan administration stated that the death toll “exceeds 2,000.”
Sunday’s landfall of Tropical Storm Daniel in the North African nation prompted authorities to declare a state of extreme emergency.
Seven members of the Libyan military have gone AWOL during ongoing rescue efforts.
Officials in eastern Libya have imposed a curfew and ordered the closure of institutions and businesses.
Storm Daniel has affected the communities of Benghazi, Sousse, Derna, and Al-Marj in the east.
In addition to the increasing mortality toll, the Libyan Red Cross reported that at least 150 homes have been destroyed.
According to Reuters, the leader of the Red Crescent humanitarian network stated that at least 150 deaths had occurred in Derna alone.
According to reports, two dams in Derna, which is home to approximately 100,000 people, have collapsed, flooding a large portion of the area and suffocating some residents.
Authorities have therefore declared the port a “city of disaster.”
Osama Hamad, the eastern Libyan prime minister, told a Libyan television channel, “The missing number is in the thousands, and the death toll exceeds 2,000… Entire neighborhoods in Derna have vanished, along with their residents, swept away by floodwaters.”
Mr. Hamad provided no source for his numbers.
Alongside areas in the east, the western city of Misrata was among those affected by the floods.
Unverified videos of the typhoon have been circulating online, including one showing a man being swept away by floodwaters. Other footage depicts drivers stranded on top of their vehicles.
In addition to schools and stores, four main oil ports also closed due to the storm.
While the administration based in Benghazi dealt with matters in the country’s east, the rival, internationally recognized government based in the capital, Tripoli was also involved.
Its Prime Minister, Abdulhamid Dbeiba, said on Sunday that he had ordered all state agencies to “immediately deal” with the damage and flooding, while the United Nations in Libya said it was closely monitoring the storm and would “provide urgent relief assistance in support of response efforts on local, national, and international levels.”
Since 2011, when long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated, Libya has been divided between two rival administrations.
After the storm, both governments proclaimed three days of mourning.
It struck Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria last week, killing over a dozen persons.
On Monday, Egypt prepared for Storm Daniel, and by Monday evening, the country’s meteorological organization reported that rainclouds had accumulated over the northwest coast.