Derna, a city in Libya, was home to around 100,000 people. Then the storm hit hard over the weekend. The sad part? On Wednesday, people searching found over 5,100 people had died in Derna alone from the floods.
On that same day, the International Organization for Migration told us that about 30,000 people lost their homes in Derna because of the storm.
The storm didn’t just hit Derna, though. It affected a big part of northern Libya. The Red Cross said about 10,000 people are still missing from the storm.
The IOM also mentioned that 6,085 people from other storm-hit places, like Benghazi, had to leave their homes too.
People shared really sad videos on social media. They showed a lot of damage and even some people who didn’t make it because of the floods.
“The number of people we lost is big. Around 10,000 are still missing,” said Tamer Ramadan from the Red Cross in Libya on Tuesday.
By Wednesday morning, people had found over 2,000 of those who didn’t make it. The health person from the eastern Libya government, Othman Abduljaleel, said more than half were buried quickly in Derna.
But here’s a big problem: Libya has two groups trying to run things. One in the east, one in the west. Both groups have a lot of armed people supporting them. The country has had a lot of trouble and fights since 2014. This makes it really hard to help the people hit by the storm.
Getting help to everyone safely, with all these groups around, won’t be easy.
Since the big boss, Muammar Qaddafi, was removed in 2011, things haven’t been good. Buildings and roads are old and breaking. So when the storm came, it broke two big water walls in Derna. The World Meteorological Organization said this sent “whole parts of the city into the water.”
And with no main group in charge, it’s hard to know just how many people we really lost to the storm.
The floods wrecked power lines, communication systems, and major roads to Derna. Out of the seven main roads, only two survived the heavy downpours that brought flash floods to the area.
Margaret Harris from the U.N.’s World Health Organization mentioned on Tuesday that the floods were massive. She thinks the heavy rains might have hit about 1.8 million people and even ruined some hospitals.
The International Rescue Committee labeled this disaster a huge crisis, hinting at the damage that’s slowing down rescue missions.
In Derna, things are tough. Phones aren’t working and the massive damage is making rescues hard. Ciaran Donelly, a top guy from the organization, shared this in an email to CBS News.