Wiped out a quarter of the Libyan city of Derna, leaving more than 6,000 dead

Wiped out a quarter of the Libyan city of Derna, leaving more than 6,000 dead

The death toll from the torrents and floods that swept through the Libyan city of Derna exceeded 6,000 people. More than 30,000 people were displaced to neighboring areas, while searches for missing persons continue.

The death toll from the torrents and floods that swept through the Libyan city of Derna rose to 6,000 people, according to the latest statistics issued by the Ministry of Health in the government appointed by the country’s parliament.

Saad al-Din Abdel Wakil, commissioner of the Ministry of Health in the Libyan National Unity Government, said on Wednesday that the death toll had exceeded 6,000 people, while thousands were still missing.

Earlier Tuesday, the media official at the Ministry of Interior, Muhammad Abu Lamoucha, said, “The search for the missing and the rescue of the stranded and affected people continues by local rescue teams.”

He called for international intervention to assist in rescue efforts and protect those affected by the unprecedented floods, according to the official agency.

Thousands of displaced people
In turn, the United Nations International Organization for Migration announced, in a post on Wednesday on the “X” platform, that “at least 30,000 people were displaced in Derna due to Storm Daniel, 3,000 people in Al-Bayda, 1,000 people in Al-Mukhaili, and 2,085 people are still displaced.” Displaced people in Benghazi.

The International Organization for Migration said in a statement: “Storm Daniel caused severe damage to infrastructure, including the road network, and disrupted the communications network.”

Eyewitnesses in Derna, which is inhabited by about 125,000 people, said that neighborhoods turned into rubble after the torrents swept away buildings, cars overturned on the sides of roads covered in mud and rubble, trees were uprooted, and abandoned homes were submerged in water after dams collapsed in the region.

Muhammad Al-Qabsi, director of Al-Wahda Hospital in the city of Derna, said that 1,700 people died in one of the city’s two main neighborhoods and 500 people in the other neighborhood, according to Reuters.

Hisham Abu Shekiwat, Minister of Civil Aviation and member of the Emergency Committee in the government appointed by Parliament, told Reuters: “I returned from there (Derna). It is very disastrous. Bodies are thrown everywhere, in the sea, in valleys, under buildings.”

He continued: “I do not have a total number of deaths, but it is large, very large… The number of bodies recovered in Derna exceeded a thousand. I am not exaggerating when I say that 25% of the city has disappeared. Many buildings have collapsed.”

The storm struck other cities in the east of the country, including Benghazi, the second largest Libyan city, and Tamer Ramadan, head of the mission of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said that the death toll would be “huge.”

He added to reporters via television, “We can confirm from our independent information sources that the number of missing people is close to ten thousand so far.”

United Nations aid official Martin Griffiths said in a post on the X platform, formerly Twitter, that emergency teams are now being mobilized to provide assistance on the ground.

Warning of torrents and floods
The city of Derna, located on the Mediterranean coast in eastern Libya, is divided by a seasonal river that flows from high areas in the south direction. Floods rarely hit the city due to the dams in it.

A video posted on social media showed remaining parts of a collapsed dam 11.5 kilometers upstream in the city, where two river valleys meet, now surrounded by huge pools of water mixed with mud.

A voice can be heard in the video clip saying: “There was a dam.”

In a research paper published last year, Abdel Wanis Ashour, an expert in water sciences from Omar Al-Mukhtar University in Libya, said that Derna is at risk of recurring floods across dry valleys. He cited the occurrence of five floods since 1942, and called at the time for taking immediate steps to ensure regular maintenance of the dams. In the region.

He added in the research paper a warning about the consequences of massive floods, which he said would be disastrous for residents in the valley and the city.

On Sunday, the Mediterranean Hurricane “Daniel” swept through several areas in eastern Libya, most notably the cities of Benghazi, Al-Bayda, and Al-Marj, in addition to Sousse and Derna.

Libya : After the “Derna Floods” humanity remembers the devastating floods throughout history

The scenes of bodies and massive destruction left by Hurricane Daniel in the Libyan city of Derna brought to mind images of floods that struck various countries around the world throughout history, causing humanitarian disasters and leaving an indelible mark on the lives of many.

Devastating floods throughout history have left an indelible mark on the lives of tens of millions of people in various countries of the world.

The flood disaster that occurred in eastern Libya brought to mind the most devastating floods in history, as the eastern Libya region has been experiencing an environmental catastrophe for days that left human and material losses, and the country’s authorities are facing difficulty in counting them.

The changing rainfall regime due to climate change, carbon emissions, and various environmental factors are among the most important reasons that make countries around the world face to face with flood disasters.

In addition to the loss of life, residential and agricultural areas are exposed to the greatest extent of damage resulting from floods.

While efforts are being made to heal the wounds in disaster-affected areas, the lack of adequate investments in infrastructure makes it difficult to deliver aid to hundreds of thousands of people displaced as a result of the floods that have occurred around the world for centuries to this day.

A recent study conducted by NASA scientists revealed that droughts and floods, which have become increasingly frequent and widespread, are linked to the climate crisis.

In the same study, scientists point out that droughts and floods have increased in the past twenty years as a result of global temperatures rising to record levels, and they warn that floods may claim more lives due to climate change.

Reasons such as incorrect urban planning in disaster areas, insufficient construction of dams, and failure to quickly inform residents of the possibility of heavy rains and floods, increase the loss of life.

The Netherlands is the most affected
The Netherlands, which is located in the northwest of the European continent, and 50% of its territory is about one meter above sea level, is among the countries most vulnerable to rising water levels.

The Netherlands is historically known as one of the largest victims of flood disasters, as estimates indicate that about 60,000 people were victims of the North Sea flood, which began in June 1212 and lasted more than 6 months.

Ten and a half decades later, the St. Lucia Flood swept through the Netherlands and northern Germany in 1287, this time killing between 50,000 and 80,000 people.

It is noteworthy that the floodwaters of Saint Lucia submerged many residential areas, including villages and towns, and caused the formation of the city of Amsterdam as it is today.

The Netherlands is considered one of the countries that suffered greatly from the most devastating floods in history. On November 5, 1530, while the Dutch were celebrating St. Felix, they were surprised by the rise in water levels, and the country succumbed to the disaster, and that day was called “Bad Saturday.”

Red River flood hits Vietnam
Vietnam was hit by the Red River Flood that occurred in 1971 when the rivers near Cambodia and Laos (Southeast Asia) met as a result of monsoon rains.

More than 100,000 people died in the flood, which failed to attract the necessary international attention due to the ongoing Vietnam War (1955-1975) at the time. It took a few years for Vietnam to recover from the effects of the flood disaster.

China is at the forefront of affected countries throughout history
Throughout history, China has been one of the countries most affected by floods, and hundreds of thousands of people have been lost in the disasters it has been exposed to.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, millions of hectares of agricultural land in China have been flooded, and millions of homes and workplaces have become unusable.

The floods that caused famine, epidemics, and economic difficulties also left traces on China’s history, geography, and economy.

In 1911, the Jiangsu-Anhui flood occurred after the Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world, and the Huai River, the largest river in China, flooded simultaneously.

While the death toll from this flood reached about 100,000, this disaster was recorded as one of the deadliest in history, causing widespread damage and leaving about 375,000 people homeless.

The torrents that occurred as a result of the flood of the Yangtze River in China in 1935 also caused the death of 145,000 people and the displacement of millions, after which a major famine occurred in the country, bringing with it deadly diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and dermatitis.

The collapse of the Banqiao Dam in China causes floods

In 1975, China witnessed one of the worst floods in the country’s history, when the Banqiao Dam collapsed due to Hurricane Nina, and more rain fell on the country within 24 hours than would normally fall in an entire year, which made the country vulnerable to disasters, as the destruction was great.

About 145,000 people lost their lives due to famine and diseases resulting from the floods, which alone caused the death of at least 86,000 people, bringing the human toll to about 230,000 deaths.

Recently, the Mediterranean Hurricane “Daniel” swept through several areas in eastern Libya, most notably the cities of Benghazi, Al-Bayda, and Al-Marj, in addition to Sousse and Derna, as it caused the death of 6,000 people in addition to thousands of missing people, most of whom were in Derna, in an infinite toll, reminding the world of major floods witnessed by other countries.

Rabat : Damage to archaeological monuments in Marrakesh as a result of the earthquake

If the earthquake that struck the Al Haouz region in Morocco will remain historical due to its strength, massive destruction, and the number of deaths it left behind, then history itself was not spared it, and it caused damage and destruction to many archaeological monuments in the city of Marrakesh and its surrounding areas.
In this context, the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication counted the buildings and historical monuments that were damaged as a result of the violent earthquake that struck the Al Haouz region on Friday/Saturday night, and a report was prepared in this regard and placed on the table of a meeting designated for this purpose.

Official data on the damage has not been announced by the Ministry of Culture, but the Regional Directorate of Culture in Marrakesh-Safi has made it available to anyone who wants to investigate information regarding the archaeological buildings affected by the Al Haouz earthquake.

“Al-Quds Al-Arabi” obtained a statement from Jamal Abu Al-Huda, the governor of historical buildings in the district, who initially confirmed that “the earthquake struck the Ighil region, which is 70 kilometers away from Marrakesh, and many areas suffered great damage in terms of human lives and buildings, whether homes or buildings.” “Historical monuments that were exposed to destruction and cracks.” The speaker stopped at the history of the city of Marrakesh, which is considered one of the oldest capitals in the Islamic world, dating back to the 12th century. According to the last census in 2006, 951 historical landmarks were inventoried, including buildings with military, civil, religious or utility specifications. general.

Regarding the damage, Abu Al-Huda said, “The force of the earthquake had a negative impact on the buildings, especially the historical ones, without mentioning the lives.” He added that “some of the historical monuments, including buildings and sites, were subjected to major destruction, some sustained light cracks, while others were not damaged by anything.”
The Moroccan official added, explaining that with regard to the buildings that were destroyed, “we record that the landmark of the Bahia Palace, which is very popular with visitors to the city of Marrakesh, has suffered cracks that we find in the main door and in the walls surrounding it, and its dome has collapsed completely. Cracks were recorded on the surface,” and the same official stressed that they were “dangerous cracks that require rapid intervention to save what remains.”

He added that some of the ceilings also suffered minor cracks that can be treated, while there are serious cracks at the level of other facilities of the historical monument, such as the park, the Saadian tombs, and the internal towers, the latter of which date back to the era of Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 18th century. Parts of gypsum and stones were also recorded falling inside a silo, the Koutoubia and the external doors, and damage to the internal wall of the Kasbah and the “Gnaoua” door specifically on the internal level.

Abu Al-Huda went on to say that the Bahia Palace is known for its strength, its size, the way it was built, and the very old cracks. The newly recorded ones are cracks at the surface level and an external crack that can be treated, but it will take time to do so. The spokesman stated that some of the damage at the level of the historical markets is subject to restoration, and as for the ancient city, cracks have been recorded at the level of some old neighborhoods such as “Al-Mallah District,” “Jewish District,” “Bin Youssef District,” “Al-Baroudien,” “Al-Zawiya,” and others. He stressed that these damages are normal given that the city is old and its alleys are narrow, and in general it can be said that between 10 and 20 percent of the damage occurred in the old city.

Then, in his statement to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, he touched on the famous Tinmel Mosque, stressing that it suffered great damage, and the percentage of destruction that befell the historic building amounted to approximately between 70 and 80 percent. The mosque was undergoing a restoration process by the Ministries of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and Culture, which is the permanent care given by the competent authorities in Morocco to historical monuments. The Tinmel Mosque, which dates back to the Almohad era, is considered an original model for mosques in Morocco, and needs to be rehabilitated after this. Huge damage caused by the earthquake. Among other landmarks that were also damaged, the Moroccan official mentioned, “Tameslouht” and “Zawia” University, indicating that the census is continuing.

The Governor of Historic Buildings and Sites spoke about the restoration operations carried out by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, or private individuals, for many historical monuments, stressing that the concern for caring for these monuments is at the heart of the interests of the sectors custodian of historical monuments in Morocco.

As for the Tinmel Mosque, it was the subject of painful blogs and tweets, especially those published by one of the engineers involved in its restoration, in which he wrote with pain, “The Tinmel Mosque restoration project was the last project I was honored to contribute to its restoration before retiring and it will remain the biggest wound in my heart.”

He added, “God is victorious, I am sad,” and concluded with a definition of the image accompanying the tweet, which is a 3D scan of the dome days before the Moroccan earthquake.