Libya is the new victim of nature’s fury, where an extremely deadly Mediterranean storm has created havoc and claimed the lives of thousands of people and wiped out almost a quarter of the eastern coastal city of Derna.
The Mediterranean storm ‘Daniel’ unleashed a flurry of floods, and broke two dams in four bridges in Derna. According to official reports, almost 10,000 people are still missing.
The floodwater has also wrecked neighbouring places and has reached other eastern settlements, including Shahhat, Al-Bayda and Marj, and at least 20,000 people were displaced.
Many scientists have labelled this storm a result of human activities and climate change. This was Libya’s worst natural disaster for 40 years and the surprise storm has raised inevitable questions about the role of climate change. In the past couple of months, many parts of the world have been facing the wrath of nature through a series of floods, droughts and wildfires.
Meteorologists have noted that storms like the one in Libya are relatively rare and come amid a major and unsettling change in the weather in the Mediterranean region. The year 2023 has witnessed unparalleled global climate disasters, including wildfires, heatwaves, and unprecedented weather extremes occurring worldwide. Notably, Mediterranean regions have experienced a significant surge in temperatures, resulting in unusually high average temperatures. According to scientists, this abnormal heat has acted as an amplifier, significantly intensifying the rainfall associated with Storm Daniel.
International aid has been sent to Libya by the US, Germany, Iran, Italy, Qatar and Turkey. The United Nations has also sent rescue teams to mobilise help on the ground.
According to officials, while the worst part of the storm has come to an end, the death toll is likely to increase in the coming days as rescue operations are underway.