Devastating floods in eastern Libya, particularly in the city of Derna, have led to the evacuation of more than 43,000 people. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has revised its evacuation statistics since the floods that occurred on September 10–11.
The disaster has forced the evacuation of 43,059 people, with many others having to leave Derna due to a lack of water supply and head to other cities in eastern and western Libya. The urgent needs of IDPs include food, clean water, and psychosocial support.
The floods, which caused the destruction of vital infrastructure such as the Derna dams, have been a devastating blow to a country already facing internal divisions and a precarious situation since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The provisional official death toll reports 3,351, but both humanitarian organizations and Libyan authorities fear that the real number is much higher due to the large number of missing people. The restoration of communications in Derna came after a 24-hour outage in the telephone network and internet, which was attributed to an attempt to limit media coverage of local protests.
Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s “Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF),” which has controlled the city of Derna since 2018, has been criticized for imposing restrictions on media and making it difficult to send humanitarian aid. The UN and other organizations are working to prevent the spread of disease and avoid a second crisis arising from contaminated water and poor hygiene. Rescue teams continue to search for the bodies of the missing, especially at sea, as entire neighborhoods were swept away by the waves. A team from the United Arab Emirates police specialized in identifying disaster victims has arrived in the area to provide support.