Libya’s Nightmare: Storm Daniel’s Floods Lead to Massive Loss of Life


Storm Daniel caused catastrophic flood damage in Libya, leaving nearly 10,000 people missing and 6,000 dead. The storm formed over Greece on September 4 and caused strong winds, heavy rains, flooding, and deaths in Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria before crossing the Mediterranean. Derna, the coastal city, was the hardest hit, with two dams releasing an estimated 30 million cubic meters of water. The dams had not been maintained for over two decades and the infrastructure was not built to withstand the effects of the floods.

Libya has seen over a decade of conflict and is politically divided. Derna is in an area controlled by a rival administration based in Benghazi, and with no telephone or internet service, the city was cut off from the rest of the country .Floods caused extensive damage or destruction to numerous roads, making it challenging for those in need of assistance.

At least 20 percent of the city has been destroyed, and one-quarter of Derna was completely wiped out. The storm caused the collapse of two dams in Derna, resulting in thousands of deaths due to the unmanageable pressure of water accumulation.