On September 5th the so-called Storm Daniel formed in the eastern Mediterranean, causing heavy rainfall and flooding Greece and Bulgaria. In less than a week it became a medicine (in English, Mediterranean hurricane), according to European meteorologists, and moved towards the coast of Libya.
On Sunday, September 10, this cyclone crossed the northeast of the country and hit the cities of Derna and Benghazi, destroying buildings and surprising citizens. Two days after landing they were already confirmed Thousands of victims and missing people.
The extent of the disaster was captured from space Sentinel satellites of the European Copernicus program. The images taken on September 2nd and 12th show the Libyan desert before and after Daniel’s passage and confirm the flooded areas with shades of blue.
Images taken by the Sentinel-2 satellites on September 2 (with the Libyan desert in normal conditions) and September 12 (with flooded areas in blue and cyan). / EU, Copernicus Sentinel-2 images
According to preliminary figures from the authorities controlling the country, the number of deaths from Cyclone Daniel reached 6,238, while the number of missing people in the city exceeded 9,100 The NAmost affected.
Collapse of two dams
The spokesman for the rescue and rescue service, Osama Alidescribed the situation as “tragic”, pointing to the difficulties faced by rescue workers given the city’s split in two following the collapse of two dams that sent more than 33 million liters of water pouring into the center of the capital, killing residential areas, bridges and roads in its path carried away.
This city, which is the fourth largest with 120,000 inhabitants, is surrounded by a mountain range and has therefore been inaccessible by land since Sunday without electricity and telecommunications services.
The person in charge valued the experience in dealing with natural disasters international teams who have arrived in Libya in the last few hours, as well as those of the forensic examination to identify the hundreds of corpses crowding the coasts and public squares, waiting to be transferred to the morgues of neighboring communities.
Hundreds of bodies are piling up on the banks and public squares of the city of Derna, waiting to be transferred to morgues in neighboring communities. / EFE/Twitter World Health Organization
The lack of resources has forced rescuers to pull hundreds of victims out of the rubble using household utensils and bury them in mass graves at the Martouba cemetery, about twenty kilometers away.
He Government of National Unity (GUN)The Tripoli-based organization Tareq al Kharaz, recognized by the international community, said 1,300 bodies have already been identified and buried, while entire families are missing due to the torrential rains, complicating the investigation.
The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday the allocation of a budget of 384 million euros (around 413 million dollars) for the reconstruction fund for Benghazi and Derna and 96 million euros (around 103 million dollars) for the victims after carrying out a census in the declared disaster areas in Derna , Benghazi, Al Bayda, Al Marj and Soussa.
Complications of a divided country
The opposing authorities in East and West, who divide executive power, asked the international community this Monday humanitarian aid and they decreed three days of national mourning throughout the territory.
According to a report from the Arab Regional Meteorological Center, Cyclone Daniel was downgraded to a subtropical storm on September 9 and began weakening this Monday as it moved towards neighboring Egypt.
– MedCyclones (@medcyclones) September 12, 2023