In the wake of a catastrophic event that unfolded in Derna on September 10, the city is reeling from the devastating consequences of the deadly floodwaters that swept through the region. Among the buildings left damaged and in disarray, the Al Sahaba Mosque, a significant religious institution, managed to remain standing, albeit with its interior floors submerged in mud and rubble.
The calamity unfolded as two dams situated above Derna gave way during a powerful storm, leading to a catastrophic breach of the dams. The sudden surge of water unleashed a torrent that engulfed residential blocks lining what was typically a dry riverbed, tragically catching people unaware in their sleep. The loss of life has been staggering, with thousands of individuals falling victim to the ferocity of nature.
Compounding the tragedy is the fact that many of the deceased have been carried away by the relentless waters, their bodies now lost to the sea. Entire districts within Derna, home to an estimated population of at least 120,000, bore the brunt of the disaster. These areas have either been swept away entirely or buried under layers of mud and debris.
Official reports from state media have confirmed the destruction of at least 891 buildings throughout the city. Derna’s mayor has expressed the chilling possibility that up to 20,000 lives may have been lost in the wake of this unprecedented catastrophe.
The heart-wrenching scenes of destruction and the profound loss of life in Derna have left the community and the nation in shock. The path to recovery will undoubtedly be long and arduous, requiring not only immediate humanitarian assistance but also a sustained effort to rebuild the shattered city and heal the wounds of a traumatized population. As Derna grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, the world watches and extends its support to a community in dire need of help and hope.