At least 2,300 people have died, and 10,000 are missing after Storm Daniel dumped devastating rain on Libya’s northeast, reportedly bursting two major dams and overflooding the already heavily inundated areas of the country.
Tamer Ramadan, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation in Libya, stated that “the death toll is huge and around 10,000 are reported missing.”
Othman Abduljalil, the health minister in Libya’s eastern parliament-backed government, reported that as many as 6,000 people are missing in the city of Derna alone, describing parts of it as a “ghost town.”
The floods have overwhelmed several cities in the country’s northeast, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including Derna, which has been hit particularly hard.
Hichem Abu Chkiouat, the minister of civil aviation and a member of the emergency committee in the eastern region, painted a grim picture, stating, “The situation was catastrophic… The bodies are still lying in many places. There are families still stuck inside their homes, and there are victims under the rubble.”
The floods have been attributed to a powerful low-pressure system that developed into a tropical-like cyclone, referred to as a “medicane,” after causing catastrophic flooding in Greece. This extreme weather system, similar to tropical storms and hurricanes, has wreaked havoc in Libya, a nation already grappling with political divisions and the aftermath of a decade-long conflict.