Over 5,000 people are presumed dead after two dams collapsed in northeastern Libya due to severe rainfall, dumping more water into already flooded areas….reports Asian Lite News
The United Arab Emirates has sent two aid planes carrying 150 tonnes of urgent food, relief and medical supplies to Benina Airport in Libya to support those affected by the devastating floods caused by the heavy rains, which resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries.
The UAE’s response is part of its air bridge to provide urgent relief aid to those in need and those affected by floods in Libya.
The relief is an extension of the UAE’s humanitarian efforts in the international arena and its approach to extending a helping hand to underprivileged communities worldwide.
The UAE search and rescue team arrived earlier at Benghazi Airport. This initiative comes in implementation of the directives of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to send urgent relief aid and search and rescue teams to Libya.
The UAE search and rescue team has swung into action immediately after its arrival. The team includes 34 individuals equipped with the necessary machinery and equipment to perform its tasks.
The 34-member team is classified in the “Heavy” category, which is an international license approved by the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) that allows the team to conduct search and rescue operations regionally and internationally in accordance with the requirements, standards and procedures followed in this regard.
The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has already begun implementing a relief programme to provide large shipments of shelter, food and medical supplies, and other necessities to Libyans in the most severely affected areas.
Death toll over 5,000
Over 5,000 people are presumed dead after two dams collapsed in northeastern Libya due to severe rainfall, dumping more water into already flooded areas, reported CNN.
During a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Tamer Ramadan, the leader of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies delegation in Libya expressed grief over the situation and gave the numbers of those missing.
“The death toll is huge,” she said.
The interior ministry of Libya’s eastern government announced on Tuesday that at least 5,300 people were killed, according to state broadcaster LANA, reported CNN.
According to Othman Abduljalil, health minister in Libya’s eastern administration, as many as 6,000 persons remain missing in the eastern city of Derna, which has suffered the worst of the devastation.
When he toured the city on Monday, he described the situation as “catastrophic.”
Authorities suspect that entire neighbourhoods in the city have been wiped away. Hospitals in Derna are no longer operational, and mortuaries are packed, according to Osama Aly, a spokeswoman for the Emergency and Ambulance Service.
He informed CNN that dead bodies had been put on the pavements outside mortuaries.
Videos on social media showed drowned cars, collapsed buildings, and torrents of water surging across streets. Storm Daniel swept away entire areas and ruined homes in a number of coastal towns, with the city of Derna “cut off completely” after two old dams burst.
This rain is the consequence of the leftovers of a very strong low-pressure system, officially called Storm Daniel by southeastern Europe’s national meteorological organisations, according to CNN.
Last week, the storm caused devastating flooding in Greece before moving into the Mediterranean and transforming into a tropical-like cyclone known as a medicane.
According to media reports, assistance and rescue efforts started to reach Derna on Tuesday, more than 36 hours after the disaster hit the coastal city. The floods had either severely damaged or completely destroyed numerous access roads leading to the city, which is home to approximately 89,000 residents.
Meanwhile, Tamer Ramadan, told the UN meeting on Tuesday that he believed there were still at least 10,000 people unaccounted for in the flood-hit areas.
The catastrophic event was triggered by a Mediterranean storm that made landfall in eastern Libya on Sunday, resulting in widespread flooding and causing extensive damage to infrastructure along its path.
President of the Libyan Presidency Council Mohamed Menfi on Monday called for international assistance to help with the aftermath of the floods, declaring the cities of Derna, Al-Bayda, and Shahhat as areas in dire need of assistance.