International aid has arrived in Libya as the death toll from catastrophic flooding rises to more than 11,000.
‘Storm Daniel’ made landfall in northeastern Libya on Sunday and collapsed two major dams near the eastern city of Derna.
Local authorities say the city became inaccessible after the collapse of the dams swept entire neighbourhoods into the sea.
Libya’s catastrophic flooding
‘Storm Daniel’ has been described as the worst natural disaster in Libya’s modern history.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recorded around 11,300 deaths across the country. Up to 10,100 people are still feared missing from the flooding.
However, some health authorities have provided lower estimates (around 5,500) of the current number of casualties.
Support from Spain, Italy, Germany, and France has arrived in the city of Derna in the past day.
Planes and boats are delivering much of the aid. Blocked or destroyed roads prevented rescuers from getting to Derna in the storm’s aftermath.
The absence of a central government in Libya is complicating rescue efforts and delaying aid.
Libya has two rival governments – the East and West. These divisions formed in 2014, following years of civil war in the country. International authorities only recognise the government in Tripoli, which controls western Libya.
Many say the conflict has left Libya with inadequate infrastructure, which could have led to the collapse of the dams as a result.
Authorities are investigating whether the Government could have prevented the catastrophic flooding in Libya.
Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation, Petteri Taalas, argued “most of the human casualties” were avoidable if Libya had a better functioning meteorological service with more detailed warning systems for major weather events.
According to local reports, the collapsed dams date to the 1970s and need maintenance. One government allocated millions in funding for that purpose years ago.
Abdul-Hamid Ddeibah, Tripoli’s Prime Minister, has called for an urgent investigation into the dam’s collapse.