The residence of the mayor of Libyan city Derna, has been set alight as hundreds of protesters sought an explanation for the disastrous flood that occurred last week.
Libya suffered a huge tragedy with the flooding of the town of Derna on the night of September 10, 2023. It is estimated that 11,300 people died and over 5,000 were injured.
Survivor Sami Albah described in harrowing detail the night he lost his sister, her husband, their parents-in-law and their four daughters. He said it was raining hard and they heard there was a major storm coming in. But this kind of weather was not unusual for the Mediterranean city, known for picturesque hills, valleys and sea views.
His family members were awakened by storm waters that engulfed the three-storey building and they evacuated to the roof, thinking it would be safe. Water at a height of over 10 metres washed them all away. So far, only the bodies of two daughters have been found and buried.
UN teams are working tirelessly to deliver vital assistance to communities devastated by the unprecedented floods that hit eastern Libya. They say humanitarian aid is coming in now but it is expected to dwindle as winter approaches. People are camping on the streets and crowding into other families’ homes, short of electricity, fuel, clean water and food.
Two very different catastrophes in Morocco and in Libya united by the “unimaginable trauma” of bereaved families, continue to mobilise the UN’s relief efforts, the organisation’s top aid official Martin Griffiths said on Friday. In Libya, “some have lost 50 or more family members”, he said.
As hundreds of protesters demand answers for the catastrophic flood, the mayor’s home in the Libyan city of Derna has been burnt to the ground.