Disasters & Accidents

Toll reaches 6,872 dead, 10,00 missing in Libya due to Storm Daniel

Tripoli, Sep 13 (EFE).- Storm Daniel has left at least 6,872 dead and more than 10,000 missing in Libya after wreaking havoc during the weekend, according to provisional figures announced by the Presidential Council chief Mohamed Al Manfi on Wednesday.

In a televised address, Al Manfi insisted on the urgency of international aid, which began arriving on Monday, and said that state authorities will spare no effort to assist the victims, especially in the most affected city of Derna.

He also urged the political class not to seek leverage from this catastrophe, which has reinforced solidarity between citizens and rejection of ideological differences.

Currently the executive power remains fragmented into two: the Abdulhamid Dbeiba-led Government of National Unity (GNU), based in Tripoli (west) and recognized by the international community; and Osama Hammad’s Parliament-backed government based in Benghazi (east).

The authorities of both parties urged the international community on Monday for support and decreed three days of national mourning throughout the country.

The GNU ministers approved on Tuesday the allocation of a budget of 384 million euros for the reconstruction of Benghazi and Derna and 96 million euros for the victims once an assessment is carried out in the areas declared damaged in Derna, Benghazi, Al Bayda, Al Marj and Soussa.

Derna, the fourth largest city with 120,000 inhabitants, is surrounded by a mountain range, making it inaccessible by land after the torrential rains on Sunday caused two dams to collapse, releasing 33 million liters of water into the city center and sweeping entire residential areas, bridges and roads.

Footage on social media showed several hundred corpses piled up in the courtyard outside a hospital in the neighboring town of Shiha, due to lack of space in the morgue.

Lack of resources has led rescuers and volunteers to extract the victims from the rubble using household utensils and bury them in mass graves in the cemetery of Martouba, 20 kilometers away.

After hitting Greece and Turkey, Cyclone Daniel was downgraded to a subtropical storm on Sep 9 and began to weaken on Monday as it headed for neighboring Egypt, according to the Arab Regional Weather Center. EFE


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