Libya was hit by floods and tens of thousands of people died, but the world forgot it

7 days ago • 5 pageviews

(Original title: Their deaths, forgotten by the whole world)

Original: Niu plays the piano

Libya was hit by Hurricane Daniel

Really, I still feel a little sad, the deaths of thousands of people, forgotten by the whole world.

Do you know this news? Just the other day, in the North African country of Libya, Hurricane Daniel hit, floods raged, dams washed away, and in the eastern city of Derna, "it is no exaggeration to say that 25% of a city has disappeared." ”

More than 10,000 people are reported dead, and the real death toll may exceed 20,000.

20,000 living lives!

What is "Armageddon"?

This is the "end of the world"!

But in this world, how many people care?

Americans are busy with party fights, Trump and Biden are still rubbing their hands; Europeans are busy tossing and turning, and they have to make a black hand on China's electric vehicles; The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, Putin is busy meeting with the leader of the DPRK ...

But the tragic scene happened right now. Poor Libyans, floods struck, wives and families were separated, many families, completely disappeared.

Many families in Libya have disappeared completely

Where is the Libyan government?

The Libyan government is rubbing its hands.

Because this so-called central government, recognized by the United Nations, can only control the capital and western Libya; Flooding occurred in eastern Libya and is largely controlled by the opposition. In the past few years, the two parties have faced each other, and from time to time they have seen each other and fought fiercely.

So that this time the death toll, the data released by the east, and the data released by the central government, are inconsistent. How much is the specific data? God knows.

Who should Libyans blame?

Complain about God?

Indeed, God is also eyeless. Poor Libyans survived the war, the pandemic, and the famine, but they did not survive the sudden hurricane and flood.

But God is actually partial to Libya, which is rich in oil and could have become the rich country of the world, like the Gulf countries.

Complain about the warlords?

Indeed, warlords are hateful, and for the sake of power, they are divided and fighting. The infrastructure was completely destroyed, but there was no way to talk about construction. Even if it is disaster relief, do warlords have a heart? Even if you have a heart, do you have money? Willing to spend money?

Don't forget, behind the warlords, there are other warlords who are watching.

Libya was hit by a hurricane, flooding ravaged dams

Complain about the West?

Indeed, the West is too hateful. You know, Libya is also a rich country in North Africa, and Gaddafi is bad, but at least he has maintained the stability of the country. Who knows, the West bombarded indiscriminately, Gaddafi was shot and killed, and Libya fell into a long-term civil war.

The West clapped its hands and left, typical pipe killing and burying. Behind the tube, the flood is monstrous.

Pandora's box opened, and poor Libyans lived in war after war.

Alas, the leak of the house coincided with the overnight rain, and the boat broke and encountered the wind. When a hurricane hit, the dams collapsed, and many Libyans were completely swallowed up by the floods.

When I say "the whole world forgets," I may be a little outraged. After all, the United Nations has also responded, Middle Eastern countries and China have also lent a helping hand, and Europe and the United States have also expressed their intention to actively provide disaster relief.

But is that enough?

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said, "This is an unprecedented disaster". But how much money did the WHO allocate? $2 million!

And UN Secretary-General Guterres, in addition to various statements, where are the specific actions? Secretary-General, would you like to come and see the scene?

Guterres, I guess I haven't thought about it, of course, I can't necessarily go if I think about it. After all, eastern Libya does not recognize the UN at all. As for the WHO, there is really no money, and the US membership dues are still in arrears.

For the Libyan disaster, Europe is relatively active, sending a disaster relief team, but it is also a drop in the bucket, and the United States is more watching and silently watching.

Look at the country, beaten to sparse by them, look at the country, now reduced to hell on earth.

At the time, Gaddafi predicted that if he lost power, terrorist groups would rise in the Middle East in the future and attack Europe.

Westerners disagree, and they are right to take Libya.

Gaddafi eventually died tragically, but the prophecy came true.

Video material of Gaddafi

Europe tasted the bitter fruit, but the greater bitter fruit must be tasted by the Libyans.

Pathetic, pathetic!

Remember the poor dead people, who should not be a cold number in the news.

Hateful, hateful!

Many of those who started the war are still alive, and they do not know that they can repent in the comfort of their lives, facing so many innocent deaths.

Sigh, lamentation!

Really, cherishing peace, cherishing stability, ordinary days that we are accustomed to, but what many countries in this world look forward to the most.

Personal views and do not represent any institution


Cherish peace

Cherish stability

What we take for granted

Ordinary days

But it's the world

What many countries are most looking forward to

Further reading:

More than 5,000 people killed, "a quarter of the city has disappeared"

Flooding from Hurricane Daniel in the Mediterranean broke two dams in northeastern Libya that had fallen into disrepair, turning desert oases into a state of ze in hours.

On the evening of September 12, local time, Mohammed Abu Ramussa, spokesman for the National Assembly, which governs eastern Libya, the main flood-stricken area, said that more than 5,300 people had been killed. Sa'adin Abdul Waqir, deputy health minister of the national unity government that governs western Libya, said the death toll had exceeded 6,000 as of the morning of September 13. Abdelmenam Ghati, the mayor of Derna, who was the worst-hit city, told the media that the death toll could reach 18,000 to 20,000.

At present, Libya is divided between two opposing governments, East and West, making follow-up rescue efforts more difficult, and the disaster may be further expanded. On September 12, the city of Tokla, about 220 kilometers from the city of Derna, warned that another dam was at risk of collapse.

Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the North African country of Libya has been plagued by war and external intervention for years, with its fragile and poor infrastructure vulnerable to the "heaviest rainfalls."

Damage in the affected area after flooding caused by Hurricane Daniel in Derna, Libya, September 11.

"A quarter of the city has disappeared"

"I was blown away by what I saw, it was like a tsunami." Shim Chikiwat, an emergency official in charge of the eastern Libyan government, described it after visiting Derna. "There were corpses everywhere - by the sea, in the valley, under the ruins. It's no exaggeration to say that a quarter of the city has disappeared. ”

The "culprit" of the flooding was Hurricane Daniel, a Mediterranean hurricane. On September 4, "Daniel" was formed off the coast of Greece. On September 10, "Daniel" landed on the northeast coast of Libya, all the way deep into the Sahara Desert. On September 12, "Daniel" entered Egypt and set off a sandstorm in the Nile Delta.

Susan Gray, a professor of meteorology at the University of Reading, pointed out that Mediterranean cyclones with tropical cyclone and hurricane characteristics, known as "Mediterranean hurricanes", occur only 1 to 3 times a year and are more common in the western Mediterranean than in the drier east. "Daniel" has been active for more than a week since its formation, which can be called quite "long-lived". In contrast to powerful cyclones such as hurricanes or typhoons, which form in the Atlantic and Pacific tropical oceans, Daniel's wind speed is not too strong, but the amount of precipitation it brings is quite amazing.

As much as 95% of Libya is desert and semi-desert, and most of it has a tropical desert climate with little rainfall throughout the year. The northern coastal areas have a small Mediterranean climate, and rainfall is mainly concentrated in winter. Libya has never recorded more than 100 mm of precipitation in 24 hours since meteorological records began. This time, the weather station, 165 kilometers from the center of the disaster, recorded 414 millimeters of precipitation in 24 hours, equivalent to years of rain in one day. Some analysts pointed out that this summer's Mediterranean SST reached an unprecedented 30 degrees Celsius, and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increased, which may bring more intense rainfall.

Backed by mountains and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Derna's steep terrain has allowed unprecedented summer rainstorms to converge into rapid flash floods that have washed away two dams on the upper reaches of the Derna. At midnight on 10 September, the inhabitants of Derna were awakened by the loud sound of the dam bursting. Some of the valleys are stored up to 400 meters deep, and some residents describe the power of the water flowing when the dam collapses as "like an atomic bomb."

After the dam burst, experts estimated that about 30 million cubic meters of water washed into the city of Derna, carrying sediment and rubble, and the equivalent of 12,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools poured down. The second dam that collapsed was only 1 kilometer from the city, a short distance that meant that the current had little chance of dispersing, and the city of about 100,000 people withstood the full force of the torrent. Video and satellite imagery from the scene showed that buildings on both sides of the river were destroyed, as were multi-storey apartment buildings far from the river.

However, external assistance has struggled to reach the hard-hit areas. A Libyan journalist said, "The last 12 years have all about war. There are no rescue teams, no trained rescuers. However, local authorities noted that the road to the affected center was almost completely cut off, making it difficult to organize rescue operations. The only local hospital was also overwhelmed. According to media reports, when the first wave of external aid arrived in Derna, 36 hours had passed since the disaster.

Citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Gray said the available evidence is strong to show that as the climate warms, hurricanes in the Mediterranean become less frequent but more intense when they strike. Liz Kenton, a professor of climate science at the University of Bristol, pointed out that with global warming, devastating floods such as those caused by "Daniel" will become more frequent in the future.

Above: A coastal road in Derna, Libya, July 1. Below: Damage after flooding in Derna, Libya, September 13.

It is a natural disaster, but also a man-made disaster

Before the invasion of Libya, "Daniel" had caused floods in Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, killing at least 25 people. However, Daniel's destructive power in Europe did not sound the alarm for the local Libyan government.

Anas El Gomati, director of Libya's Sadiq think tank, said Libyan authorities had neither monitored the dam nor warned or evacuated residents. "This is a natural disaster and a man-made disaster caused by the incompetence of Libya's political elite." Gomati said the local population had endured "biblical suffering." Libyan Emergency Management Agency spokesman Osama Ali also said that "weather conditions, sea levels, rainfall and wind speeds have not been well studied, and families who may be in the storm's path and in the valley have not been evacuated." ”

In 2011, Libya's 42-year-old leader Muammar el-Qaddafi was overthrown. Since then, the country sitting on Africa's richest oil resources has been torn apart by civil war. Ten years ago, attempts to form a united, functioning government failed and were replaced by two rival governments backed by different militias, headquartered in Tripoli in the west and Tobruk in the east.

The Government of National Unity, which controls the west, is recognized by the United Nations and supported by Turkey, Qatar and Italy. The National Assembly, allied with the warlord Haftar who led the National Army, controlled eastern Libya and was supported by Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Wagner organizations. As recently as 2020, a full-scale war broke out between the two sides. Haftar's army laid siege to Tripoli, killing thousands, and the 18-month conflict was finally quelled with Turkish intervention.

The hardest-hit Derna is home to artists, cultural figures and scholars. Jallel Hacharvi, an expert on Libya affairs at the Royal United Services Institute, said that Derna has historically been a "center of rebellion" for the reformers, and the tradition of resistance is written into the city's DNA. In 2011, Drna and Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, 250 kilometers away, were among the first to launch a revolt against Qaddafi's rule.

Hachawi also noted that after Gaddafi's death, Derna was "ignored and punished" by subsequent governments. In 2014, the city of Derna was occupied by the extremist group Islamic State (IS). Between 2015 and 2019, Haftar led an army to blockade Derna, followed by heavy fighting. Although Haftar eventually took control of Drna, Haftar said Haftar's persistent lack of trust in the area's residents excluded them from reconstruction efforts.

The mainstream media in Libya believe that the failure to properly rebuild and maintain the infrastructure of Drna after years of conflict is an important cause of catastrophic casualties.

Historically, flooding of the Derna River has often caused casualties and property damage to towns downstream. In the mid-70s, a Yugoslav company built two dams upstream, which protected the city of Derna from multiple floods until it collapsed in a rare rainstorm in September.

In 2022, a study by Libya's University of Yatripoli warned that one of the two dams could collapse if flooding comparable to the 1959 flood occurred, calling for regular reinforcement. According to local media reports, one of the dams has not been maintained since 2002.

However, some experts point out that it is too early to determine the cause of the dam failure. Dragan Savage, a professor of water informatics at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, observed that these dams may be rockfill dams, not as strong as concrete dams, and can easily be washed away once flooded. Andrew Barr, a structural engineer at the University of Sheffield, believes that the record-breaking precipitation exceeded the dam's carrying capacity, causing the upper dam, 12 kilometres from Derna, to collapse first, and floodwaters rushing down the rocky river valley to a second dam closer to the city, eventually flooding the city.

Over the past 50 years, after the dam was built, the Dernais have built a major construction project on the riverbank. Ahmed Madrud, deputy mayor of Derna, said poor infrastructure and the concentration of most buildings near the river channel were responsible for the heavy casualties. Marack Artayebze, a visiting researcher at the Middle East Institute who has long followed environmental policy in North Africa, said the authorities' lack of oversight of deforestation and illegal construction has further degraded Delna's already fragile ability to withstand heavy rainfall, increasing the risk of flooding.

The United Nations has repeatedly called on all parties in Libya to end the conflict as soon as possible and hold national elections to end the country's division. The disaster seems to provide an opportunity for the opposing sides to ease their differences. On September 12, the Government of National Unity, headquartered in the capital, Tripoli, said a plane carrying emergency medical supplies had flown to Benghazi with 14 tons of relief supplies and 87 medical workers on board. However, Al Jazeera pointed out that since the Libyan National Central Bank only recognizes the western government, it is expected that the problems of how the follow-up disaster relief and reconstruction fund will be allocated among institutions, how it will be used, and who will supervise it, which is expected to bring various difficulties and challenges to the cooperation between the two sides.