Written by Cove Johnson Rabidoux
On Monday, September 11th, a Mediterranean storm called Daniel caused the two dams near Derna, a port city in eastern Libya with a population of around 100,000 to break. This resulted in a catastrophic flood that swept through the area, destroying many cities and communities. Many people were either caught in the rushing water or swept out to sea, with the number of missing people over 10,00 and the death toll estimated to be as high as 11,300 people as of Sunday, September 27th according to CNN.
The death toll from the flooding in Derna and other Libyan cities is devastating, and the cost of the destruction is astronomical. Many homes and businesses have been destroyed, and the city is left in ruins. The bright blue water off the coast of Derna is now dark and brown, filled with debris, wood, trash, rubble, and bricks. The Libyan government is working hard to provide aid to the many survivors, but the damage has been catastrophic. Families have been left homeless, and people have lost their loved ones. The United Nations states that “More than 40,000 people have been displaced across northeastern Libya since the extreme rainfall brought by Storm Daniel.”
The people of Derna are in desperate need of help and assistance, both financially and emotionally, as they try to rebuild and recover from the floods. Psychological help is also much needed for the survivors who have lost homes, friends, and family members. The majority of volunteers are Libyans facing their own grief, but there are a few international organizations who have stepped in to help. Charities, communities, and governments have already begun sending aid, however, much more help is needed.
International organizations around the world are urged to provide help and aid to the people of Derna. This could come in a variety of different forms, with some examples, including supplies, resources, food, or monetary donations. In addition, volunteers are needed to help with the rebuilding process. Water is another important resource needed in the city of Derna, as access to clean water is limited. Libyan officials have raised concerns about the lack of fresh, clean water in Derna, as well as waterborne diseases. According to CNN, at least 150 people have contracted diarrhea after drinking dirty water in Derna after the flooding. To ensure that people have access to clean and safe water, bottled water is critical.
The best thing you can do to help those affected by the floods in Libya is to raise awareness. By talking with your neighbors, teachers, family, and other community members, you can educate people about the horrors of the flooding in Libya and ask them to consider donating. Donating materials from clothes to water will make a difference for residents in Derna.