Thursday, February 29, 2024

Eastern Libya reports 2,000 dead in devasting flood, thousands missing

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

Eastern Libya is amid a devastating tragedy, with reports of over 2,000 feared dead and many missing after a catastrophic flood in Derna. The disaster occurred when upstream dams collapsed due to heavy storms, sweeping entire neighbourhoods and residents into the sea.

Ahmed Mismari, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson in eastern Libya, announced in a televised news conference that the number of missing individuals is estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000.

Earlier, the head of the Red Crescent aid group in the region had reported an initial death toll of 150, expected to rise to 250, but has not yet verified either of these figures, Reuters reported.

In response to the devastating flood, the Presidential Council in Tripoli, representing Libya’s divided political landscape, has appealed to the international community for assistance, urging “brotherly and friendly countries and international organizations to provide aid.”

Videos from Derna show a comprehensive torrent in the city centre, replacing a narrow waterway with ruined buildings along the streets.

Almstkbal TV in eastern Libya aired footage of people stranded on vehicle roofs, seeking help in the flood. Osama Hamad told al-Masar TV that over 2,000 people have died, and thousands are missing in Derna, with entire neighbourhoods and residents swept away by water.

Following the tragedy, Libya’s eastern-based parliament and Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah declared three days of mourning, designating affected cities as “disaster areas.”

According to oil engineers’ reports, four major oil ports, including Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, Brega, and Es Sidra, temporarily closed for three days, starting Saturday evening.

Simultaneously, the United Nations in Libya has committed to vigilant monitoring of the situation and offering immediate relief assistance to bolster response efforts at both local and national levels.

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