What we know about the floods that killed thousands of people in Libya

Abdullah Mohammad Bonja/Anatolu Agency/Getty Images

A scene of devastation in the disaster zones after the floods caused by Storm Daniel in Terna, Libya on Tuesday.



CNN

Emergency teams are working to find survivors and recover bodies Major flooding occurred in the northeastern part of Libya Three days ago, at least 5,300 people were killed and 10,000 went missing.

Eyewitness footage shared on social media showed the devastation after the floods, with collapsed roofs and cars lying amid the rubble of damaged infrastructure.

Satellite images showed buildings in the worst-hit city of Terna destroyed by water and sand. The shores of the coastal city appeared to be severely eroded.

Libya’s two governments have given conflicting numbers of victims following the disaster.

The eastern parliament-backed government says at least 5,300 people have died, while the internationally recognized Tripoli government says more than 6,000 have been killed.

Local media reported that local rescue teams are continuing to search for the missing. More than 30,000 people have been displaced, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya said on Wednesday.

Relatives of those still missing are panicking, CNN reported. Others are devastated to learn of their family’s tragic fate.

A resident of the eastern city of Tobruk told CNN that eight of his relatives died in the floods in Terna.

“My wife Areej’s sister and her husband are both dead. His entire family is dead. A total of eight people are gone,” Emat Milad told CNN. “It’s a disaster. We’re praying for good things,” Milad said.

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CNN could not independently verify the death toll or the number of missing.

Here’s what we know so far:

Floods hit the northeastern part of Libya, which is located on the Mediterranean coast. Derna, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) east of Benghazi, the country’s second-largest city, was the hardest hit. Terna, a city of about 100,000 people, suffered extensive damage. Entire neighborhoods are believed to have been swept away, according to officials, and emergency responders say hospitals are no longer operational.

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Morgues are stacked to capacity and dead bodies are left on the sidewalks outside, Osama Ali, a spokesman for Libya’s emergency and ambulance service, told CNN on Tuesday.

The flood also increased Two dams collapsed, It caused water to rush towards Terna, officials said on Tuesday.

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Libya is particularly vulnerable Natural disasters have been impacted by two rival administrations locked in political conflict following a civil war that began in 2014. The country has been in turmoil since the 2011 NATO-backed overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Today, two warring parties compete for control of the country. The UN-backed Government of National Unity (GNU), led by Abdulhamid Dibibe, sits in Tripoli in northwestern Libya, while its rival is controlled by commander Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA). By Osama Hamad.

Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters

A man sits on top of a damaged car after a powerful storm and heavy rain hit eastern Libya on Tuesday.

Flood-hit Derna and surrounding towns fall under the control of Haftar and his eastern government, which is not recognized by the international community.

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Analysts said climate forecasters gave warnings days before the storm hit Libya, but authorities in the east did not act quickly enough.

Analysts have also said Libya’s lack of preparedness in the face of natural disasters is inadequate, LNA spokesman in the east Major General Ahmed al-Mizmari acknowledged on Tuesday.

Libya and eastern authorities “unprepared to deal with this level of damage” Al-Mizmari told Al-Arabiya TV On Tuesday, at least three different specialized rescue teams were needed.

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Several countries, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Italy and Algeria, have said they will send humanitarian aid to Libya.

Analysts said the politically fragmented situation in Libya was complicating rescue efforts and the delivery of international aid. Countries must decide whether to send aid to the capital or support Haftar’s rival administration in Benghazi.

Most countries have so far sent their aid to Benghazi, the closest major city to Derna and its surrounding towns. Algeria, however, sent its aid to the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, about 1,000 miles away.

Tamer Ramadan, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Libya, told CNN on Tuesday that the issue of competing governments in Libya would not affect their operations. “We have good relations with officials in both governments,” he said.

How did the flood occur and what role did climate change play?

The rainfall that devastated Derna and other cities in northeastern Libya was the result of a very strong low pressure system. A catastrophic flood for Greece lA week before it moves into the Mediterranean and develops into a tropical cyclone Medicine.

As ocean temperatures around the world Rise from the table Scientists say higher-than-average temperatures in the Mediterranean Sea, due to planet-warming emissions, triggered the storm’s heavy rain.

Jamal Breathalyzers/AP

Flooding in the eastern city of Derna on Tuesday.

“Although no formal causality has been held regarding the role of climate change in making Hurricane Daniel more intense, it is safe to say that Mediterranean sea surface temperatures were significantly above average throughout the summer,” said climate scientist and meteorologist Carsten Haustein. The University of Leipzig in Germany told the Center for Science Media.

“Warmer water not only fuels those storms in terms of rainfall intensity, but also makes them more ferocious,” he said.

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