150 killed in Libya floods after rainstorm: official
At least 150 people were killed in freak floods in Libya as a result of storm Daniel, which has swept the Mediterranean, an official said on Monday.
“At least 150 people were killed as a result of flooding and torrential rains left by storm Daniel in Derna, the Jabal al-Akhdar region and the suburbs of Al-Marj,” Mohamed Massoud, a spokesman for the Benghazi-based administration in Libya, told AFP.
“This is besides the massive material damage that struck public and private properties,” he added.
He said the prime minister of the east-based government, Oussama Hamad, and the head of a rescue committee, as well as other ministers, had travelled to Derna to evaluate the extent of the damage.
Hamad’s government, which rivals a UN-brokered, internationally recognised transitional administration in Tripoli — on Monday declared Derna a “disaster area”.
Experts have described storm Daniel, which also struck parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria in recent days, killing at least 27 people, as “extreme in terms of the amount of water falling in a space of 24 hours”.
The storm struck eastern Libya on Sunday afternoon, notably the coastal town of Jabal al-Akhdar but also Benghazi, where a curfew was declared and schools closed for several days.
Rescue teams were also deployed in Derna, 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of the capital Tripoli.
With a population of 100,000, the city lies in the wadi of a river bearing the same name.
East Libyan authorities had “lost contact with nine soldiers during rescue operations” in the city, Massoud had said.
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