The devastating floods hitting Libya have left a trail of unimaginable destruction and suffering in the country, with a death toll that the Red Cross describes as “enormous” and growing concern for those missing, who could number close to 10,000 people, as the humanitarian organization warned this Tuesday.
Tamer Ramadan, an official with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), declared at a press conference in Geneva that “we still do not have definitive figures,” but that the number of missing people is dangerously close to 10,000. This unprecedented tragedy has overwhelmed the response capabilities of the Libyan Red Crescent and the government, leaving an overwhelming need for humanitarian aid.
Torrential rains and flooding, triggered by Storm Daniel, have wreaked havoc in Libya as well as Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria, where 27 deaths were recorded. This storm, considered an “extreme” phenomenon in terms of the amount of water that has fallen, has left destruction and desolation in its wake.
Eastern Libya, home to major oil fields and terminals, has been particularly hard hit. The National Oil Company (NOC) has declared a “state of maximum alert” and suspended flights between production centers, drastically reducing activity in the oil industry.
The magnitude of this tragedy underscores the urgent need for a coordinated international response to provide humanitarian aid to Libya and work to prevent future natural disasters in the region.