Flood Wipes Out Quarter of a City in Libya

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It is indeed a tragic moment in Libya as thousands of people are said to have been killed and at least 10,000 are missing after floods caused by a storm that burst dams, swept away buildings and wiped out a quarter of the eastern coastal city of Derna.

A senior medic in Derna said more than 2,000 people were dead, while eastern Libya officials cited by local television gave an estimate of more than 5,000.

Derna, a city of about 125,000 inhabitants, had an entire neighbourhood wrecked; with buildings washed out, and cars flipped over in streets covered in mud and the rubble left by a wide torrent after dams burst, but no Australian was affected, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

According to Mohamad al-Qabisi, director of the Wahda Hospital, 1,700 people had died in one of the city’s two districts and another 500 in the other districts. Bodies were laid out on the ground in the hospital corridors with people trying to identify missing family members.

Shortly after visiting Derna, Hichem Abu Chkiouat, minister of civil aviation in the administration that controls the east of Libya said “Bodies are lying everywhere — in the sea, in the valleys, under the buildings. I am not exaggerating when I say that 25 percent of the city has disappeared. Many, many buildings have collapsed.” He added.

Tamer Ramadan, head of a delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the death toll would be “huge. We can confirm from our independent sources of information that the number of missing people is hitting 10,000 so far,” he told reporters via video link.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said emergency response teams have been mobilised to help with the situation in Libya.

As Türkiye and other countries sent aid to Libya, including search and rescue vehicles, rescue boats, generators and food, distraught Derna citizens went about searching for their loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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