Libya hit by ‘catastrophic’ flooding, over 3,000 dead

Tripoli: More than 3,000 people have died and about 6,000 others are reportedly missing in Libya after torrential rain brought by storm Daniel triggered the collapse of two dams which swept entire neighborhoods into the sea. Speaking to a local TV channel this week, Osama Hammad, the eastern-based Prime Minister of Libya, confirmed the toll in “catastrophic” floods that hit eastern Libya on September 10, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hammad said most of the casualties were reported in the port city of Derna, where “the entire neighborhoods were swept away”. He called on medical personnel and rescue teams nationwide to provide assistance to the city, while the eastern-based Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Gatrani has appealed for international aid.

Local authorities have declared three days of mourning for the victims. The storm made landfall in eastern Libya on the weekend, triggering flooding and destroying facilities along its path. Abdul-Hamed Dbeibah, the prime minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, instructed relevant authorities to remain on high alert and take measures to deal with the storm, vowing to “protect the people and ease the damage”.

President of the Libya Presidency Council, Mohamed Menfi, also called for international assistance to cope with the aftermath of the deadly floods. He declared Derna, Al-Bayda and Shahhat as stricken cities, and called on the people to abide by the instructions of the authorities “to overcome this crisis”. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Libyan Red Crescent Society have started to offer urgent assistance to those affected by the disaster.

Image courtesy of United Nations

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