floods in libya
– Photo: Social Media
International aid shipments began arriving in Libya on Saturday following devastating floods and despite low hopes that people would survive. The port city of Derna was inundated after two dams broke under the pressure of torrential rains caused by the storm, and thousands of people and homes were swept into the sea. The death toll stands at 3,166, according to Othman Abdeljalil, the health minister of the eastern administration.
The World Health Organization said the bodies of 3,958 people had been recovered and identified, while 9,000 people were still missing. WHO announced that 29 tons of aid had arrived in the eastern city of Benghazi.
WHO representative said – this is a terrible disaster
“This is a terrible disaster,” said Ahmed Zouiten, WHO’s Libya representative. Bodies are still floating on the shore after being washed away into the sea during the flood. A rescue team from Malta’s civil protection department found the beach littered with bodies on Friday, the ‘Times of Malta’ newspaper reported.
An AFP correspondent saw two planes carrying aid landing in Benghazi, 300 kilometers west of Derna. The Italian Embassy said a ship had arrived in Derna with two helicopters, bulldozers, tents, blankets and pumps. Tons of aid from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also reached the eastern region, as well as a field hospital from France.
Hatem al-Tawahani, medical director of the Benghazi Medical Center, told AFP that 15 wounded in Derna were now being treated there. One patient, Eid Kayit Abdel Khalif, was working in Derna when the floods hit. He said 75 people in his hometown of Al-Sharif in Egypt were killed.
He added, “There are some people who are missing… We have no information about them. In al-Bayda, 100 kilometers west of Derna, people worked to clear roads and houses. Basically An al-Bayda volunteer from Derna said many people had told her about the “confusion and chaos” of relief efforts in the flood-hit port city. “I lost a lot of loved ones there too,” said Rahab Schnaib. Have given.”
Every family of Derna city affected by severe flood
“In this city, every single family has been affected,” said Derna resident Mohammed al-Dawali. Seer Mohammed Seer, a member of the security forces, said more than 1,500 families had been rescued, including a three-month-old girl. Her entire family died, she was the only one who survived.
The flooding was caused by poor infrastructure in Libya, which was plunged into turmoil after a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 killed longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi. The Islamic Relief Aid Organization has warned of a ‘second humanitarian crisis’, pointing to the growing threat of water-borne diseases and shortages of food, shelter and medicines.
But the Red Cross and WHO point out that, contrary to widespread belief, the bodies of victims of natural disasters rarely pose a health threat. Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for eastern Libya’s national army, said more than 1.2 million people had been affected by the floods. The United Nations has launched an appeal for more than $71 million to help those in need.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths on Friday called for coordination between Libya’s two rival administrations – the UN-backed internationally recognized government in Tripoli and the government based in the disaster-hit east, saying we do not know the severity of the problem.
Negligence, neglect and corruption are the causes of destruction in Libya.
Eastern government chief Osmana Hamad announced that new measures would be implemented starting Saturday, allowing civilians to be evacuated from the disaster area. After launching the investigation, Libyan Prosecutor General al-Sediq al-Sur said that two dams at the origin of the disaster had cracked since 1998. Repairs started by a Turkish company in 2010 were suspended after a few months when the 2011 revolution broke out, and work never resumed, the prosecutor said, adding that those responsible would be dealt with harshly. Resolved to deal with it.
The International Organization for Migration said more than “38,640” people were left homeless in eastern Libya, 30,000 of whom were in Derna alone. Climate experts have described the disaster as a result of Libya’s deteriorating infrastructure and warming climate. “A puzzle of dysfunction, incompetence, negligence, neglect and corruption is slowly emerging behind the disaster in Derna,” said Wolfram Lacher, a Libya expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.