(UnitedVoice.com) – Torrential rains have pounded Libya for days from Mediterranean Storm Daniel. The war-torn nation was not prepared. A disaster occurred in the country, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people.
On September 14, Libyan officials announced the death toll from the storm was more than 5,500 people. Many were the result of two dams bursting in the city of Derna, in the eastern region of the country. The city is home to about 90,000 people. Authorities warned the toll could reach as high as 20,000.
The dams burst on September 10. The water flooded the areas, washing away homes and roads. A Benghazi aid worker, Emad al-Falah, told The Associated Press there were dead people “everywhere, inside houses, in the streets, at sea.” He said that wherever people walk, they find the dead, including women and children.
Ossama Ali, a spokesperson for an ambulance center, said that more than 7,000 people were injured from the floods. At least 9,000 people are still missing. However, communications are still out in the area, making it difficult to know exactly how many people are actually missing. Officials believe that the toll will drop in the coming days. Approximately 30,000 people lost their homes in the flooding.
Experts believe a number of problems, including political divisions, corruption, and poor infrastructure, led to the massive death toll. Libyan authorities knew the storm was headed toward the country and that it had already killed people in multiple nations, but they had no plan to monitor the dams. Additionally, they never warned the residents about the storm or tried to evacuate them.
Sadeq Institute Director Anas El Gomati told The New York Times that the devastation from the storm was not an act of Mother Nature; he said it was “the act of man — it’s the incompetence” of the country’s “political elites.” He called it a “biblical level of suffering” in the nation.
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