The flood in Libya: 10,000 people missing

The flood in Libya 10000 people missing
full screen The city of Marj is under water after storm Daniel moved through. Photo: AP

At least 2,300 people have died as a result of the flooding in Libya.

According to the Red Cross, the death toll is expected to skyrocket – as thousands of people are missing.

– Dead bodies have been left outside the morgues and on the pavements, says Osama Aly, spokesman for the rescue service, to CNN.

Quick version

  • Libya has been hit by catastrophic flooding caused by Storm Daniel, with at least 2,300 confirmed dead and thousands missing.
  • The floods have caused extensive damage, with two dams and three bridges collapsing, and entire neighborhoods swept away.
  • The country’s political division complicates the rescue work.
  • ⓘ The summary is made with the support of AI tools from OpenAI and quality assured by Aftonbladet. Read our AI policy here.

    Show more

    Storm Daniel moved into Libya on Sunday and has caused catastrophic flooding in the eastern parts of the country.

    So far, 2,300 people have been confirmed dead by the emergency services. But 10,000 people are still said to be missing – and the death toll is therefore expected to rise.

    Pictures and videos from the country show disaster areas with destroyed buildings and streets, and entire neighborhoods under water.

    – Our teams on the ground are still making their assessment, but based on what we see and from the news that comes to us, the death toll is enormous, says Tamer Ramadan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to TT.

    Residents have been swept away

    The port city of Darnah in the region of Jabal al-Akhdar, and the suburbs of al-Marj are said to be the worst affected areas.

    According to WMO, the UN’s meteorological agency, entire residential areas in the city of Darnah in eastern Libya have disappeared.

    – Residents have been swept away by the water after two dams collapsed – making the situation catastrophic and out of control, the organization writes in a statement.

    The storm is said to have reached its peak on September 10, according to the country’s National Metrological Centre. Then the winds reached a speed of 70-80km/h – and the heavy rain caused the major floods.

    In the city of Al-Bayda, 414.11 millimeters of rain was recorded, which should be a new rainfall record.

    The morgues are full – corpses on the streets

    In total, two dams and three bridges have collapsed. In the city of Darnah, the hospitals are no longer usable and the morgues are full, according to Osama Aly, spokesman for the emergency services.

    – Dead bodies have been left outside the morgues and on the pavements, Osama Aly tells CNN.

    There is a great lack of help from emergency services, and civilians are said to collect the bodies in the streets.

    During Monday, large parts of the communication were down as a result of trees that fell over electricity poles.

    full screen Entire neighborhoods have been swept away in the floods. Photo: Jamal Alkomaty / AP

    “Don’t know if they’re alive”

    Safia Mustafa, 41, and her two sons live in Darnah. The mother tells Reuters that they climbed onto the roof of their home, and managed to get to a nearby village. In this way, the family managed to escape – just before the building collapsed.

    Safia’s son, 10-year-old Obai, told the news agency that he prayed to God for their survival.

    Relatives of residents of Darnah tells CNN that they are terrified after seeing the footage spreading of the devastation in the city – and haven’t heard a word from their family members.

    Ayah has two cousins ​​in the city, and has been unable to reach them since the floods receded.

    – I am really worried. I don’t know if they are alive right now, we are all terrified, she says.

    The political situation worsens the rescue work

    The political situation in the country will also hinder the rescue work in the country, says the Libyan journalist Abdulkader Assad to BBC.

    – People are promised help – but the help does not come. There are no rescue teams, there are no trained rescuers in Libya. Everything from the last 12 years has only been about war, he tells the channel.

    When former leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011, the country has been characterized by violence and political divisions. Today, therefore, there are in practice two governments that rule the country. One from the capital, and another that governs the parts where the worst floods have occurred.

    Despite the split, the government has sent a plane to the affected area with 14 tonnes of medical supplies and over 80 doctors and paramedics.

    – There are two governments in Libya. “It’s actually slowing down the help that’s coming because it’s so confusing,” Assad says.

    Three volunteers from the Red Cross who helped in the affected areas have died, writes IFRC director Jagan Chapagain on X.