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Libya’s devastation after Hurricane Daniel
In the wake of one of the most devastating natural disasters in recent history, Libya finds itself grappling with the devastating consequences of Hurricane Daniel. With over 2,000 confirmed casualties and an additional 10,000 still missing, this unprecedented tragedy has left the country in shock and despair. In this comprehensive article, we highlight the details of the disaster in Libya, the factors contributing to its severity, and the international response to this humanitarian crisis.
Incredible deluge missing in Libya
The devastating events unfolded as Hurricane Daniel brought torrential rains to the northeastern region of Libya. This sustained flooding proved too much for the infrastructure to bear, causing two dams to collapse. The flood waters resulted in the submergence of already vulnerable areas, causing the tragic loss of thousands of lives and displacing countless others.
Toll on darna
Derna, a city in the center of the disaster area, suffered the most from the devastation. With approximately 6,000 people missing and entire neighborhoods believed to have been swept away, the situation in Derna is nothing short of horrific. Hospitals have been idled, and morgues are overflowing, forcing authorities to leave bodies outside on the sidewalks.
Role of climate change
One cannot ignore the impact of climate change on the severity of this storm. As global temperatures continue to rise, the waters of the Mediterranean Sea have also become warmer than normal. This, in turn, provided perfect conditions for Hurricane Daniel to gather strength and unleash its wrath. Climate scientists warn that as the planet gets warmer, such events will become more frequent and intense.
Political complexities and disaster preparedness
Libya’s vulnerability to extreme weather events such as Hurricane Daniel is further heightened by its long-running political conflict. A decade-long power struggle between rival administrations has hindered the country’s ability to develop effective risk communication and risk assessment strategies. Additionally, coordination of rescue operations and maintenance of critical infrastructure such as dams has been severely compromised due to the ongoing political turmoil.
Collapse of dams
The collapse of two dams due to the continued intensity of the floods was a turning point in the disaster. The resulting destruction included the loss of three bridges and homes being washed away in valleys. Strong muddy currents carried away vehicles and debris, adding to the devastation. Complicating rescue efforts, phone lines are down in Derna, making it challenging for workers to enter the city and provide aid.
Unprecedented floods and international aid
As eastern administration officials have said, Libya now faces an “unprecedented” situation. Several cities along the east coast, including al-Bayda, al-Marj, Tobruk, Takenis, al-Bayda and Batta, as far as Benghazi, have been affected by flooding. In response to this humanitarian crisis, many countries have increased their support.
International aid efforts
Turkey: Turkish aircraft have delivered humanitarian aid to Libya, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the dispatch of search and rescue teams and additional aid.
Italy: Italy is sending a civil protection team to assist in rescue operations.
United States: The US Embassy in Tripoli has declared a humanitarian need, authorizing initial funding to support relief efforts. Coordination is ongoing with UN partners and Libyan authorities.
United Arab Emirates: President Zayed Al Nahyan has directed aid and search and rescue teams to assist Libya.
Egypt: President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has expressed condolences to Libya and expressed hope for a speedy recovery.
Hurricane Daniel is not an isolated event but part of a broader pattern of extreme weather events around the world. From Southern Europe to Hong Kong, devastating floods have hit many regions, underscoring the urgent need for global action to mitigate climate change.
As Libya continues to struggle in the aftermath of this devastating storm, the world is watching in solidarity, offering aid and support to the country in desperate need. The road to recovery will be long and difficult, but with international cooperation and concerted efforts, there is hope that Libya will emerge from this tragedy stronger and more resilient than ever.