There are fears that the number of deaths in the flood areas in Libya could rise significantly. The situation in the port city of Darna is particularly terrible.
"We expect a very high number of victims. Based on the destroyed districts in the city of Darna, there could be 18,000 to 20,000 dead," Mayor Abdel-Moneim al-Gheithy told the Arabic television channel Al-Arabija. Storm “Daniel” hit the North African country on Sunday. Two dams burst near Darna and entire quarters of the city, which has a population of 100,000, were washed into the sea. Entire streets are submerged in meters of mud.
Hope for survivors is dwindling
Rescue teams continued to search for survivors in the rubble. But the hope of finding people alive is dwindling. Videos on social media showed convoys of vehicles transporting the dead, while other images showed corpses floating in the sea. Recovered victims were buried in body bags in mass graves.
The state of emergency continues to prevail in other parts of the civil war country. Meanwhile, there are desperate calls for more humanitarian aid for the survivors. In Darna alone, more than 30,000 people have become homeless, as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced on X. 10,000 people were missing.
The British King Charles (74) expressed his condolences given the terrible situation. He and his wife were “deeply saddened” by the devastating effects, said a letter from the monarch on Wednesday evening. “We grieve with all those who have lost their loved ones and continue to pray for everyone whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by the horrific flooding.” He also praised the “selfless courage” of the helpers.
Relief goods from Germany
The air force wants to bring THW relief supplies to the flood area from the air base in Wunstorf. Two transport planes with material consisting of mattresses, tents, blankets, camp beds and generators are scheduled to take off, the Air Force announced. After an international request for assistance from Libya to the EU, the federal government promised quick help. The Air Force wants to provide information on site before the launches.
The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) had previously announced that relief supplies were loaded into THW logistics centers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg on Wednesday. According to a spokesman, eight trucks set off in the evening towards Wunstorf near Hanover.
Doctors Without Borders on the way
The aid organization Doctors Without Borders also announced the arrival of an emergency team in the badly affected city of Darna on Thursday. The organization announced on the platform X (formerly Twitter) that it consists of logisticians and medical staff. They are also bringing emergency equipment to treat the injured and body bags for Libya's Red Crescent charity.
Concern also extends to the hundreds of thousands of refugees and other migrants from more than 40 countries for whom Libya is a stepping stone to Europe, reported the Saudi Arabia-based newspaper "Arab News". It was said that there are also likely to be victims among these people who were swept away by the floods.
In addition to Darna, other cities such as Al-Baida, Al-Marj, Susa and Shahat are also affected. "We just need people who understand the situation - logistical help, dogs that can smell people and get them out of the ground. We just need humanitarian help, people who really know what they are doing," said a Libyan doctor who works in a clinic near Darnas, the British broadcaster BBC.
The United Nations has released ten million dollars in emergency aid to respond to the devastating floods in Libya. A call for donations will follow shortly, said UN emergency aid coordinator Martin Griffiths on Thursday in Geneva. It is now about preventing the spread of diseases.
“The scale of this flooding disaster is shocking and heartbreaking,” Griffiths said. “Entire neighborhoods have disappeared from the map.” United Nations helpers are in the country to organize help together with the authorities and first responders.