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Severe Libya Flooding: Thousands Dead or Missing

Storm Daniel killed at least 2,800 people in the Libyan city of Derna and flooding has hit the city, Libyan authorities say.

The catastrophe followed the collapse of dams over Derna, Ahmed Mismari, a spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), which controls eastern Libya, said during a televised news conference. He also claimed that the number of missed people reached at least 6,000 people.

According to Libyan sources, two Red Crescent employees died while trying to rescue people from flooding in the city of Derna. At least 46 people were reported dead in the eastern town of Bayda, Abdel-Rahim Mazek, head of the town’s main medical centre said. Another seven people were reported dead in the coastal town of Susa in northeastern Libya, according to the Ambulance and Emergency Authority. Seven others were reported dead in the towns of Shahatt and Omar al-Mokhtar, said Ossama Abduljaleel, health minister. One person was reported dead Sunday in the town of al-Marj.

Lots of photos were posted on social media showing people stuck on the roofs of their cars crying out for help while water washes the cars away. It’s worth noting that getting confirmed news out of Derna is proving to be very difficult as a result of communication lines going down.

Georgette Gagnon, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Libya, said early reports showed that dozens of villages and towns were “severely affected … with widespread flooding, damage to infrastructure, and loss of life.” She wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter:

“I am deeply saddened by the severe impact of (storm) Daniel on the country … I call on all local, national, and international partners to join hands to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people in eastern Libya.”

The hurricane hit eastern Libya on Sunday afternoon. The coastal city of Jabal al-Akhdar was heavily damaged, as well as Benghazi, where a curfew was declared and schools were closed for several days. Local media said the situation was catastrophic with no electricity or communications.

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