Hundreds Dead In Libya After Devastating Floods, But Official Warns It Could Be Thousands

Published 5 months ago
By Forbes | Molly Bohannon
Death toll in Derna city tops 2,000 after floods hit eastern Libya
A view of devastation in disaster zones after the floods caused by the Storm Daniel ravaged the region, on September 11, 2023, in Derna, Libya. The death toll from floods in the eastern Libyan city of Derna has risen above 2,000, local media reported on Monday. Further thousands are believed to be missing. The head of Libya's Tripoli-based unity government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, on Monday declared three days of national mourning for the victims of deadly floods that ravaged the North African country. (Photo by Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

TOPLINE

The death toll from extreme flooding in Libya over the weekend is estimated to be at least 250 by the Red Crescent of Benghazi, though one of the country’s officials said thousands could be dead from the catastrophic storm, reports say.

KEY FACTS

The Red Crescent told Reuters on Monday morning that the flooding caused by Mediterranean storm Daniel killed a confirmed 150 people in Derna, a coastal city in eastern Libya, over the weekend, but the organization expects the death toll to increase to 250.

Ossama Hamad, prime minister of the parliament-supported government in Libya, said in a phone interview with a local television station on Monday that he fears 2,000 are dead in Derna, the city hit the hardest by the floods, and thousands more are missing, the Associated Press reported.

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Water levels in Derna, which was declared a disaster zone, reached as high as 10 feet over the weekend, and the storm also hit the Libyan cities of Benghazi, Susa, Bayda and al-Marj.

KEY BACKGROUND

Last week, the storm hit parts of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, killing at least 15—with two still missing—and causing the “most intense rain storm” in almost a century, Reuters reported. More than 4,250 people were evacuated from Greece as of early Monday, authorities said, due to rivers overflowing and damaging villages beyond the aftermath of the storm. On Sunday, Bloomberg reported that Greece’s prime minister will meet with the head of the European Commission on Tuesday to ask for support from the EU.

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