Storm Daniel poured so much rain on Libya’s northeast that two dams fell, allowing water to rush into previously flooded areas, leaving around 2,000 people dead and thousands more missing.
Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Mismari, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman, asserted that five to six thousand people have gone missing in eastern Libya as a result of the severe flooding brought on by Storm Daniel.
The Presidential Council in Tripoli has also asked for international assistance for the victims and people in need. “We call on friendly and benevolent countries and international organizations to provide aid and support to the affected areas,” it stated in a statement.
According to Libyan media, Storm Daniel’s rains generated high water in several eastern Libyan cities, including al-Bayda and Derna. Curfews were also implemented in the flood-affected cities, and air and sea ports were shut down as a result. On a visit to the worst-affected city, Derna, on Monday, Othman Abduljalil, the health minister for the eastern parliament-backed government of Libya, referred to some areas as “ghost towns.”
The minister described the situation as catastrophic as bodies were still lying in some areas and some victims were stuck under the rubble.
There are families still stuck inside their homes and there are victims under the rubble… I expect people have been washed away into the sea, and tomorrow morning, we’ll find many of them.he said.
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The heavy downpour is the product of a powerful low-pressure system that last week caused devastating floods in Greece and traveled into the Mediterranean before intensifying into a medicane, a tropical cyclone. The weather system is comparable to typhoons in the Pacific or hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic.