At least 11,300 people are believed to be dead and more than 9,000 remain missing after heavy rains and dam bursts caused catastrophic flooding in Libya, officials say.
Mediterranean storm Daniel hit the the city of Bayda with more than 16 inches of rain last Sunday, the country’s National Center of Meteorology said. The storm caused widespread flooding in the North African nation, collapsing two dams and submerging entire neighborhoods underwater.
Derna, in eastern Libya, has taken the worst hit, with emergency workers continuing to recover bodies from the rubble. The city has been declared a disaster zone, and electricity and communication has been cut off.
“These figures are expected to rise as search-and-rescue crews work tirelessly to find survivors,” the United Nations’ Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said of the death toll this past Saturday.
Bayda and the cities of Al Marj, Susah, and Shahat have also recorded casualties.
“We issued immediate instructions to use all our capabilities, provide the needed support of all urgent medical equipment, operate medical convoys and to allocate shelters to those who lost their homes,” General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, said in a televised address last Tuesday. “We have directed the government to form a specialized committee to assess the damage, instantly begin the reconstruction of roads to facilitate transportation, restore the electricity, and to take all immediate and needed measures in that regards.”
President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden sent their “deepest condolences” to all the families who have lost loved ones in the floods. “In this difficult hour, the United States is sending emergency funds to relief organizations and coordinating with the Libyan authorities and the U.N. to provide additional support. We join the Libyan people in grieving the loss of too many lives cut short, and send our hope to all those missing loved ones,” the president wrote on X.
As rescue efforts continue, see how you can help those affected by the tragedy.
UNICEF and partners are on the ground assessing the situation and humanitarian needs. The nonprofit is reaching children and families with emergency supplies. Currently, the most pressing needs are shelters, non-food items, drinking water, hygiene kits, medical supplies, and clothes. So far, UNICEF has supplied 1,100 hygiene kits, vital medical supplies for 10,000 people, essential clothing kits for 500 children, and more. Donate here.
The International Rescue Committee is providing critical emergency services to families in Libya and refugee families amid the devastation. Donate here.
The British Red Cross launched an emergency appeal to support those affected in the country. Donate here.
Doctors Without Borders provides immediate medical aid during humanitarian emergencies. Help them save lives here.
Islamic Relief Worldwide is also providing aid to disaster-stricken families in Libya. Donate here.
ISeeYou Foundation is raising funds for a Libyan-run organization in Turkey that is purchasing and delivering supplies and relief to the affected areas. Help here.
World Food Program USA is actively fundraising to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s response efforts in Libya. So far, they have provided food rations to hundreds of families across 16 locations in Benghazi, with plans to reach more than 5,000 families in the coming days. Rations include sugar, pasta, rice, wheat flour, tomato paste, white beans, and cooking oil. Donate here.
The International Medical Corps is on the ground in Derna, providing emergency health, water, sanitation, hygiene services, and supplies to affected families. Donate here.
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