Libya: Floods kill 2,000, around 10,000 believed to be missing

As many as 2,000 people have died and 10,000 are feared to be missing after storm Daniel ripped through eastern Libya recently.

A devastating flood has left 2,000 people dead and 10,000 people reportedly missing in Libya. Photo Courtesy: Video grab from Karnataka Weather X page

The storm triggered rain and collapsed two dams in the northeast region of the country, leaving areas inundated.

“The death toll is huge and around 10,000 are reported missing,” Tamer Ramadan, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation in Libya, was quoted as saying by CNN during a press briefing in Geneva.

Tamer Ramadan said the country is currently facing large-scale devastating disaster.

"#Libya is facing large-scale devastating disaster,efforts are huge but yet challenges and needs are way more beyond what current efforts can do. Support from all international actors to @LibyaRC  and Libyan people is strongly needed now @ifrc  stands ready to coordinate," he posted on X.

As many as 6,000 people are missing from the eastern city of Derna alone, Othman Abduljalil, health minister in Libya’s eastern parliament-backed government, told the country's Almasar TV as quoted by CNN.

Abduljalil has toured Derna and described the situation in the region as catastrophic.

“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 (Tuesday) morning, we’ll find many of them,” he said.

Ahmed Mismari, spokesperson for the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), said two dams had collapsed under the pressure of flooding.

“As a consequence, three bridges were destroyed. The flowing water carried away entire neighbourhoods, eventually depositing them into the sea,” he was quoted as saying by CNN.

The head of Libya’s Emergency and Ambulance authority, Osama Aly, told CNN that after the dam collapse “all of the water headed to an area near Derna, which is a mountainous coastal area.”

Meanwhile, Libya has been witnessing political turmoil since long-serving ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

The country has been split between warring factions since then.

Georgette Gagnon, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Libya, posted on X: " As the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya, I am deeply saddened by the severe impact of Hurricane Daniel on the country and have tasked an emergency response team to prepare to support local authorities and partners in the region."

The United States expressed grief over the loss of life in the incident.

"The United States expresses its sympathies and condolences to those affected by the devastating flooding in Libya. The United States is coordinating with UN partners and Libyan authorities on how we can assist the ongoing relief efforts," US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said.