Libya Floods: 2000 Feared Dead, Thousands Missing

by | Sep 12, 2023 | Daily News, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Libya Floods: 2000 Feared Dead, Thousands Missing

In a sudden turn of events, Libya’s northeastern region was struck by a devastating flood catastrophe caused by Storm Daniel, leading to what we now know as the Libya floods. With around 2,000 lives lost and thousands more missing, the nation is grappling with an unusual natural disaster. This article delves into the grim details of the Libya floods, their origins, and the challenges rescue efforts faced in the affected areas.

Storm Daniel unleashed a torrential downpour on Libya’s northeast, resulting in the collapse of two dams. This catastrophic event caused water to flood areas already struggling to cope with rising waters, transforming parts of the worst-hit city, Derna, into what health minister Othman Abduljalil described as a “ghost town.”

Abduljalil’s grim account of  Libya’s situation highlighted the magnitude of the disaster. He revealed that bodies still lay exposed in various locations while families remained trapped in their homes. Moreover, victims were buried beneath the rubble, and some individuals may have been carried away into the sea by the relentless floodwaters.

Derna, which bore the brunt of the disaster, faces the grim reality of over 6,000 residents missing. However, it’s important to note that Derna is just one of the many regions affected by the extensive flooding that has swept Libya’s northeastern areas along the Mediterranean Sea.

Libya Floods: 2000 Feared Dead, Thousands Missing


The Libya flood catastrophe can be traced back to its root cause: a powerful low-pressure system that wreaked havoc in Greece before heading into the Mediterranean. There, it developed into a tropical-like cyclone called a “medicane.” This weather system bears similarities to the tropical storms and hurricanes seen in the Atlantic or typhoons in the Pacific.

What went wrong?

The damage caused by the floods goes beyond loss of life and missing persons. Ahmed Mismari, spokesperson for the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), disclosed that two dams succumbed to the overwhelming floodwaters. This collapse destroyed three vital bridges, and the relentless flow swept entire neighborhoods into the sea.

In the aftermath of the disaster, Libya’s Emergency and Ambulance Authority admitted to shortcomings in their preparation for such an unprecedented catastrophe. Osama Aly, the authority’s head, lamented the lack of accurate weather forecasts and evacuation plans. He acknowledged that the nation had not witnessed a disaster of this magnitude before and that authorities needed to prepare to respond effectively.

The devastation extended to several cities, including Al-Bayda, Al-Marj, Tobruk, Takenis, Al-Bayada, and Battah, as well as the eastern coast of Benghazi. The widespread impact of the flooding underscores the urgent need for assistance and relief efforts in the affected regions.

In the face of this overwhelming tragedy, Libya grapples with the immediate consequences and the long road to recovery. The nation mourns the lives lost and those still missing while rallying together to provide aid and support to those affected by this devastating natural disaster.

Also Read: Morocco Earthquake: Death Toll Exceeds 2000



  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.


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