Libya – Dozens Feared Dead After Storm Daniel Brings Flooding Rains

Dozens of people are feared dead after Storm Daniel brought torrential rain to parts of Libya from 09 to 10 September 2023.

Floods in Tripoli, Libya, September 2023. Photo: Tripoli Security Directorate

Details of the situation are still unclear. However, Agence France-Presse, quoting local officials, reports that as many as 150 people may have died.

“At least 150 people were killed as a result of flooding and torrential rains left by storm Daniel in Derna, the Jabal al Akhdar region and the suburbs of Al-Marj,” Mohamed Massoud, a spokesman for the Benghazi-based administration in Libya, told AFP.

“This is besides the massive material damage that struck public and private properties,” he added.

Many of the fatalities occurred in the city of Bayda (also known as Al-Bayda or Elbeida), capital of the Jabal al Akhdar district, and in the towns of Susa (also Soussa or Sousse) and Shahhat. The heavy rain also flooded several neighbourhoods in the capital, Tripoli. No injuries or fatalities were reported however.

The UN announced that it is closely following the emergency.

“We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives and our thoughts for all people affected.” The UN said this in a statement.

The UN stressed its readiness to support efforts by local authorities and municipalities to respond to this emergency and provide urgent humanitarian assistance to complement national and local efforts.

According to the National Center of Meteorology in Libya, in a 24 hour period to 10 September, a staggering 414.1 mm of rain was recorded in Bayda, while 240 mm of rain fell in Marawah in the District of Jabal al Akhdar, and 170 mm fell in Al Abraq in the Derna District.

According to figures from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the city of Derna recorded 73 mm of rain in 24 hours to 11 September.

The mean total rainfall for September in Benghazi, the largest city in the eastern region, is just 3.3 mm, according to the WMO.

Previously heavy rain from Storm Daniel triggered catastrophic flooding in parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, killing at least 27 people.

Rainfall totals in Lo9bya 09 to 10 September 2023. Image: National Center of Meteorology in Libya
Floods in Tripoli, Libya, September 2023. Photo: Tripoli Security Directorate

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