At least 20 people were confirmed dead so far, while the fate of dozens others remain unknown as they went missing, after Mediterranean Storm Daniel unleashed extreme floods across the eastern coastal line of Libya yesterday.
13 people died in Al-Bayda, Libya’s 4th largest city which is located in the north east of the country. Abdul Rahim Maziq, the director of the city’s main medical center, said he expects the death toll to be over 100 in the city due to the large number of reports of missing persons as a result of floods.
Libya’s Ambulance and Emergency Service confirmed today that 7 people died in Sussah, located about 30 km northeast of Al-Bayda, and 3 of whom are women.
Salem Omar, the Director General the Ambulance and Emergency Service, said the service is unable to report on a collective preliminary tally of the number of victims of the floods that hit cities and villages in eastern Libya as the search and rescue operations are still underway. Omar said dozens are reportedly missing, and their fate remains unknown.
Images posted by locals on social media showed flooded streets in the eastern cities of Al-Bayda, Derna, Al-Marj and Sussah. The heavy floods caused severe damages to roads and private properties in the affected areas.
Images taken today showing the aftermath of heavy flooding that hit Libyan city of Al-Bayda yesterday on the backdrop of Storm Daniel.
Dozens of locals reported sever damage to private properties and roads caused by the floods.
— The Libya Update (@TheLibyaUpdate) September 11, 2023
The Government of National Unity, led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, designated flooded cities in eastern Libya as disaster areas. Meanwhile, the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by General Commander Khalifa Haftar, sent troops to support the Libyan Red Crescent and the Ambulance and Emergency Service in their search and rescue operations.
Earlier, the Libyan High Council of State said it was following with great concern what is happening in Libya in general and in the eastern regions, especially the weather fluctuations and torrential rains that caused damage to lives and property.
The subtropical storm is part of a series of powerful storms wreaking havoc worldwide as the global climate crisis starts to enter an acute phase.
Libyan authorities took precautionary measures, closing schools and stores, imposing a 24-hour curfew on September 10 and closing four oil ports. The National Meteorological Center also warned of weather fluctuations affecting the northeastern regions of Libya, accompanied by strong winds in most areas, exceeding speeds of 70 kilometers per hour at times.