More than 5,000 are presumed dead in Libya as the disastrous flooding demolishes dams and sweeps away entire neighbourhoods.
Qatar has stepped in to send emergency aid to Libya where thousands have died as flooding continued to devastate eastern coastal towns following Storm Daniel.
Doha News landed in Benghazi onboard a Qatari Emiri flight on Wednesday where Lekhwiya forces delivered nearly 60 tonnes of aid, including a field hospital and essential supplies to help with immediate emergency response.
The shipment included 173 tents, 1,200 blankets, 1,200 pillows, 40 generators, 25 tonnes of food aid, kitchen and medical supplies, according to a list of documents seen by Doha News.
Heavy flooding induced by Storm Daniel has inflicted severe damage on eastern Libya, creating a path of destruction that poses significant challenges for recovery amidst the nation’s ongoing political instability.
As it stands, the death toll has now surpassed 5,300 casualties solely in the city of Derna, according to a spokesperson from the local interior ministry.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Tamim conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the victims of the devastating floods in Libya. He affirmed Qatar’s unwavering support for the Libyan people as they navigate through the distressing challenge.
“I extend to our brothers in Libya my sincere condolences and sympathy for the victims of the catastrophic floods, and we in Qatar declare our complete solidarity with the Libyan people to overcome this painful ordeal, and we ask God to have mercy on the dead, bring back the missing, and heal the wounded,” the Gulf leader said.
Officials in eastern Libya have recovered the remains of over 1,000 individuals from the debris in a coastal city that has been submerged by catastrophic floods, as stated by an official who visited the devastated area on Tuesday.
Tamer Ramadan, the Libya representative for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), previously reported that around 10,000 individuals were missing following this unprecedented flooding.
He described the loss of life as “huge” and anticipated that the number of fatalities would continue to rise into the thousands in the days ahead. Three IFRC volunteers lost their lives while assisting flood victims, as confirmed by the organisation’s head, Jagan Chapagain.
A spokesperson from the eastern-based armed forces in the country linked the exacerbated catastrophe to the failure of two adjacent dams, which resulted in a deadly flash flood.
Numerous municipalities in eastern Libya have been impacted by the natural disaster, with the most extensive devastation occurring in Derna. There, intense rainfall and flooding led to the dam breaches and the complete submersion of entire neighbourhoods.
The flood, attributed to Storm Daniel which previously battered Greece, also ravaged other coastal settlements including Libya’s second-largest city, Benghazi.
People were shown stranded atop their vehicles calling for help, with cars being swept away by floodwaters, as per footage from Almostkbal TV.
After more than ten years of turmoil, Libya continues to be split between two competing administrations, with one situated in the eastern region and the other in the western region.
While each administration enjoys support from various militias and foreign nations, the ongoing conflict has left the north African nation grappling with deteriorating and insufficient infrastructure.
However, the internationally-recognised Tripoli-based government appeared to temporarily overlook differences on Tuesday after sending 14 tonnes of aid to help with relief efforts in the east of the country.