Libya: Nearly 4,000 dead and 30,000 displaced as a result of the Media Desert storm

Libya is still in shock following the catastrophic floods that left thousands dead and missing, and destroyed the city of Derna in eastern Libya, where dozens of bodies remain on the side of the road, wrapped in blankets.

The International Organization for Migration said that at least 30,000 people living in this city with a population of 100,000 have become homeless, and the number of victims remains uncertain after Storm Daniel passed on Sunday.

Horrific pictures broadcast by the “Libyan National” channel on social media platforms show a real disaster that befell Derna: destroyed streets, uprooted trees, destroyed buildings, and people lifting the covers from the bodies lying on the sidewalk to try to identify them.

The city can now only be reached through two entrances to the south (out of seven), and the power has been cut off on a large scale and its communications network has been disrupted, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Three thousand people were displaced from Al-Bayda and more than two thousand from Benghazi and other cities located to the west.

The country is run by two competing governments: one recognized by the United Nations and headquartered in Tripoli, headed by Abdel Hamid Al-Dabaiba, and the other in the east, where the disaster occurred, headed by Osama Hammad, commissioned by Parliament and supported by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

More than 3,800 people died in the Derna floods, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior in the government affiliated with the authorities in the east of the country on Wednesday.

Lieutenant Tariq Al-Kharraz told Agence France-Presse that the eastern Libyan authorities have so far counted the deaths of 3,840 people, 3,190 of whom were buried, noting that among the victims were at least 400 foreigners, the majority of whom were Sudanese and Egyptians.

Tamer Ramadan, an official at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said on Tuesday that ten thousand people were still missing.

For his part, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said in a press statement, “I am deeply saddened that thousands of lives have been brutally swept away in eastern Libya,” adding that it is “another harsh reminder of the catastrophic impact that climate change can have on our world.”

He added, “I call on all Libyan political actors to overcome the political stalemate and divisions and work collectively to ensure relief arrives.” “This is a time for unity of purpose.”

Storm “Daniel” struck the region on Sunday afternoon, and very heavy rain fell, causing two dams near Derna to collapse, and water flowed into the city, sweeping away buildings and people. Many of them were swept into the Mediterranean, while bodies were seen on beaches filled with debris.


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