At least 150 killed in Libya floods triggered by freak rainstorm

At least 150 individuals lost their lives in unprecedented floods in Libya caused by the Mediterranean storm, Daniel, as confirmed by an official on Monday.

“At least 150 people were killed as a result of flooding and torrential rains left by storm Daniel in Derna, the Jabal al-Akhdar region and the suburbs of Al-Marj,” Mohamed Massoud, a spokesman for the Benghazi-based administration in Libya, told media.

“This is besides the massive material damage that struck public and private properties,” he added.

The prime minister of the government based in the eastern region, Oussama Hamad, along with the head of a rescue committee and other ministers, have journeyed to Derna to assess the scale of the destruction.

Hamad’s administration, which competes with a UN-facilitated internationally recognized transitional government in Tripoli, officially designated Derna as a “disaster area” on Monday.

Experts have characterized Storm Daniel, which also impacted regions of Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria in recent days, resulting in the loss of at least 27 lives, as “extreme in terms of the amount of water falling in a space of 24 hours”.

The storm made landfall in eastern Libya on Sunday afternoon, affecting notably the coastal town of Jabal al-Akhdar and also prompting a curfew declaration and the closure of schools in Benghazi for several days.

Rescue teams were dispatched to Derna, located 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of the capital city, Tripoli.

With a population of 100,000 residents, the city is situated in the wadi of a river bearing the same name.

East Libyan authorities had “lost contact with nine soldiers during rescue operations” in the city, Massoud had said.

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