On Sunday, September 10, 2023, a devastating natural disaster unfolded in eastern Libya when Storm Daniel wreaked havoc with heavy rains and fierce winds. The storm’s initial impact was felt across coastal cities of the northeast, including Benghazi, Sousse, and Al-Marj. However, the most catastrophic event occurred during the night of Sunday, September 10 to September 11, when two dams upstream of the coastal city of Derna, situated on the Wadi Darnah River, tragically failed. This led to the release of millions of cubic meters of water downstream, inundating the river plain and resulting in extensive flooding in Derna, a city inhabited by approximately 100,000 people. The flooding caused the complete destruction of entire neighborhoods, some of which were reported to have been swept into the Mediterranean Sea. The damage to buildings and infrastructure has been reported as severe, and numerous roads have been rendered impassable. As of September 18, 2023, the death toll reportedly exceeded 4,000, with more than 10,000 individuals still unaccounted for, and at least 34,000 people displaced from their homes. This catastrophic event in the eastern part of the country has unfolded during a period of continued descent into violence, political stalemate, and division.

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Source: World Bank 2042

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