More than 2,000 people are feared dead amid devastating flooding caused by Storm Daniel, which blasted across the Libyan city of Derna, CNN reported. The storm made landfall in eastern Libya on Sunday, triggering flooding and destroying facilities along its path.
Ahmed Mismari, the spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA) that controls eastern Libya, said in a televised news conference that the disaster came after dams above Derna had collapsed, “sweeping whole neighborhoods with their residents into the sea”.
”As a consequence, three bridges were destroyed. The flowing water carried away entire neighborhoods, eventually depositing them into the sea,” he said.
Several photos and videos have surfaced online showing the magnitude of damage and destruction caused by the floods. Clips shared on X showed drowned cars, collapsed buildings, and torrents of water surging across streets.
Here are some videos:
After devastating Greece in the country’s worst ever flood disaster, #medicane Daniel submerges East Libya under water. First estimate of 2,000 dead, many missing thought to have been washed out to sea. Apocalyptic. #ClimateCrisis#ClimateActionNowpic.twitter.com/HTxgiTQbaz
— George Tsakraklides (@99blackbaloons) September 11, 2023
Everyone in this part of the city of #Darna in eastern #Libya was taken by surprise as a #tsunami -like rushed down the valley. Police, using megaphones, rushed to warn them as flood was approaching shouting: “Guys get out of the valley…” But it was too late. pic.twitter.com/5sYiEabFz4
— Said Laswad سعيد الأسود (@LaswadSaid) September 11, 2023
Thread of videos of the torrents and floods that occurred and are still occurring today in the eastern region of #Libya
The situation is catastrophic in the city of Al-Bayda in eastern Libya pic.twitter.com/ieLO3Idx7h
— Mahmud Mohammed (@MahmudM27830556) September 10, 2023
🛑 URGENT: Massive flooding in El Jabal El Akhdar, East of #Libya. Thousands trapped under rising waters. Urgent international aid and assistance needed. Please spread the word & let’s come together to help. @RedCross@UN@Top_Disaster@USEmbassyLibya@UKinLibyapic.twitter.com/qtKAJQJPjg
— Ahmed Abdulgalil (@Ahmed_alabidi) September 10, 2023
— ᎬbᏒu..🦋 (@EbruZengnn) September 12, 2023
Othman Abduljalil, the health minister in Libya’s eastern parliament-backed government told Libya’s Almasar TV from Derna on Monday, ”The situation [in Derna] was catastrophic… The bodies are still lying in many places.”
Jalel Harchaoui, a Libya specialist, told the BBC the death toll could reach as many as “several thousand” people. 7 Libyan army personnel have also gone missing during ongoing rescue efforts.
Last week, the storm caused devastating flooding in Greece before moving into the Mediterranean and transforming into a tropical-like cyclone known as a medicane.
Libya, a country of six million people, has been divided between rival administrations in the east and west since 2014, following the 2011 uprising against late dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Both governments declared three days of mourning after Storm Daniel swept in.