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Damage hinders aid to Libya’s flood-ravaged Derna

Derna was hardest-hit by flood disaster that caused two dams to collapse in Libya’s eastern city

Muataz Wannes


Damage to roads and other infrastructure in Libya’s eastern city of Derna has stalled aid from reaching survivors following this weekend’s deadly floods.

At least 6,000 people were killed and thousands of others remain missing following the deadly flooding caused by Mediterranean storm Daniel.

Derna was the hardest-hit by the flood disaster that caused two dams to collapse in the city.

The massive destruction has left the city’s survivors struggling to receive humanitarian aid.

The eastern part of Derna was particularly cut off from the outside world due to the destruction of roads linking it with Libyan cities.

Search and rescue teams were unable to provide assistance to the victims, who have been stranded for days.

“The eastern part of Derna city has become inaccessible following the floods,” the Libyan Red Crescent Society said in a statement.

“There are shortages of food, medicine and drinking water” in eastern Derna, the organization said.

Food scarcity

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, also highlighted the difficulty of reaching aid to survivors in eastern Libya.

“While the true level of destruction and devastation has yet to be known, the UN and its partners have been fully mobilized to provide swift assistance to the affected population and to support the authorities’ relief efforts,” Griffiths told a press briefing in Geneva on Friday.

Derna is bisected by the Wadi Derna, a seasonal river that flows from highlands to the south, and normally protected from flooding by dams.

But the massive floods caused the city’s two dams to collapse, dragging large parts of Derna into the sea.

“Some people in Derna are about to die of hunger,” a Libyan survivor who gave his name as Suhaib al-Farjani said in a message shared by activists on social media.

“I’m stuck in Derna’s eastern area, taking shelter in the al-Wahda Bank alongside other survivors,” he added.

“We appeal for help as we are unable to go out,” al-Farjani said. “The people here are in a serious ordeal.”

Al-Farjani continued, “There is a small child next to me asking for a piece of bread.”

“It seems that the ones who survived the flood will die of hunger,” the stranded survivor said.

*Writing by Ikram Kouachi

Source: Anadolu Agency

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