A week has passed since the eastern region of Libya was devastated by floods and torrents, a consequence of Storm Daniel hitting the Libyan coasts. The disaster has resulted in thousands of casualties, missing persons, and extensive damage.
Cities such as Al Bayda, Al Marj, and Sousa, and regions including Al Wardiya, Al Mukhaili, Al Bayada, and Al Mlitania have been severely affected. The largest catastrophe was in Derna following the collapse of the city’s dams, leading to a flood that caused widespread destruction and loss of life.
In response to the crisis, the governments of Dbeibah and Hammad promptly declared Derna and other cities as disaster zones. The Presidential Council has appealed to international organizations and countries worldwide for aid.
Countries including Turkey, Qatar, UAE, and Algeria, amongst others, have responded swiftly by opening air, sea, and land bridges. They have mobilized resources to provide immediate relief to those affected in the disaster-stricken areas.
Rescue teams from these countries are working with local teams to search for survivors and retrieve victims from under the rubble. Field hospitals have been established to provide urgent medical assistance to victims and treat the injured.
As we enter the eighth day since this national tragedy struck, local and international rescue teams continue their race against time in search of survivors trapped under demolished buildings.
Eyewitness accounts describe residential buildings and vehicles carrying individuals and families being swept away by floods into sea waters. Within 24 hours of the disaster, bodies of victims began washing up on Libya’s Mediterranean shores.
The disaster has united Libyans across the country and from all walks of life, who have come together to aid Derna and its neighboring cities, setting aside for now political differences in a show of solidarity not seen since 2011.
International media outlets have highlighted this unity among Libyans in the face of adversity, as relief convoys continue to arrive in support of the affected areas.