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Saturday, February 24 2024

Libya hit by ‘catastrophic’ flooding, over 2,000 dead

Libya hit by 'catastrophic' flooding, over 2,000 dead
Photo Credit : IANS

Tripoli: More than 2,000 people have died and about 6,000 others are reportedly missing in Libya after torrential rain brought by storm Daniel triggered the collapse of two dams which swept entire neighborhoods into the sea.

Speaking to a local TV channel on Monday, Osama Hammad, the eastern-based Prime Minister of Libya, confirmed the toll in “catastrophic” floods that hit eastern Libya on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hammad said most of the casualties were reported in the port city of Derna, where “the entire neighborhoods were swept away”.

He called on medical personnel and rescue teams nationwide to provide assistance to the city, while the eastern-based Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Gatrani has appealed for international aid .

Local authorities have declared three days of mourning for the victims.

The storm made landfall in eastern Libya on Sunday, triggering flooding and destroying facilities along its path.

Abdul-Hamed Dbeibah, the prime minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, on Sunday instructed relevant authorities to remain on high alert and take measures to deal with the storm, vowing to “protect the people and ease the damage”.

President of the Libyan Presidency Council, Mohamed Menfi, also called for international assistance to cope with the aftermath of the deadly floods.

“We call on the brotherly and friendly countries and the international organisations to provide assistance and support for the disaster areas,” Menfi said in a statement on Monday.

He declared Derna, Al-Bayda and Shahhat as stricken cities, and called on the people to abide by the instructions of the authorities “to overcome this crisis”.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Libyan Red Crescent Society have started to offer urgent assistance to those affected by the disaster.

Libya, a country of six million people, has been dividedbetween rival administrations in the east and west since 2014, following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against late dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Each administration is backed by armed groups and militias.

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