Floods could damage Libya’s UNESCO site

Floods in eastern Libya have endangered the region’s sole UNESCO-listed site, Cyrene, according to a recent visitor and archaeologist Vincent Michel.

While the immediate damage to Cyrene’s monuments, including the Temple of Zeus, is minor, the water surrounding their foundations poses a future threat.

Cyrene, a renowned Greco-Roman city, suffered from torrential rains triggered by Storm Daniel on September 10-11.

Many areas within the site remain waterlogged, causing ancient walls to collapse and blocking drainage.

The retaining wall could collapse, endangering a significant portion of the ruins.

Weakened foundations due to poor-quality stone in the region further heighten the risk.

Additionally, concerns about looting in the aftermath of the floods have arisen.

Despite these challenges, Libya’s antiquities department has begun coordinating efforts with UNESCO and international missions to assess weaknesses in the monuments, repair drainage, and fortify foundations.

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