Dienstag, 12.09.2023 / 23:07 Uhr

Tausende Tote und Vermisste nach Flutkatastrophe in Libyen

Zerstörungen in Derna, Bildquelle: Facebook

Während noch nicht einmal ganze Ausmaß des Erdbebens in Marokko bekannt ist, ereignete sich in Libyen eine weitere Naturkatastrophe. Ein Hurrikan mit Extremregen traf Ostlibyen und dort vor allem die Hafenstadt Derna

The situation in Derna, the Libyan port city where two dams burst over the weekend, has been described as “disastrous beyond comprehension”, as the Red Cross and local officials said at least 10,000 people were missing after the devastating floods.

The confirmed death toll has exceeded 5,300, Mohammed Abu-Lamousha, a spokesperson for the administration that controls the east of Libya told a state-run news agency late on Tuesday. Tariq al-Kharraz, another representative of the easter government, said that entire neighbourhoods had been washed away, with many bodies swept out to sea.

Hundreds of bodies were piled up in cemeteries with few survivors able to identify them, according to Kharraz, who said he expected the death toll to rise above 10,000 people – a figure also quoted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Rami Elshaheibi, the Libyan national communications officer for the World Health Organization, said the situation in Derna was “disastrous beyond comprehension”.

Hichem Chkiouat, the minister of civil aviation, said many of the dead remained where the water left them: “Bodies are lying everywhere – in the sea, in the valleys, under the buildings,” Chkiouat told Reuters by phone after a visit to the city. “I am not exaggerating when I say that 25% of the city has disappeared. Many, many buildings have collapsed.”

Video footage circulating on social media showed people pleading for help and screaming as muddy water engulfed their homes. Other video captured torrents sweeping away cars on streets, which had turned into rivers.

Sondos Shuwaib, a local blogger, said she was in her home when suddenly she found herself torn away by the flood waters. In a harrowing account of the disaster posted online, she described seeing children and babies caught in the current. “There were corpses next to me, and corpses above me, and corpses beneath me,” she wrote.