July 24, 2024


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Libya’s Catastrophe

The ancient Mediterranean city of Derna in Libya faces an unprecedented crisis. Once a bustling hub, it now lies devastated, witnessing a catastrophe that has left thousands dead and even more missing.

The Fury of Nature in Derna

A potent storm unleashed a torrent of water, transforming a normally arid riverbed into a force of destruction. As it furiously cascaded down, dams above the city burst, obliterating vast sections of the city. Families were caught off guard, with many buildings collapsing as they slept.

The Disheartening Search for the Missing

While official reports indicate missing numbers of around 5,000 to 10,000, the pain and distress of searching families echo a tale of immeasurable sorrow. Usama Al Husadi’s heart-wrenching quest for his family serves as a somber emblem of the broader tragedy.

A Landscape Forever Changed

In the aftermath, Derna’s streets now lie covered in mud, showcasing the storm’s cruel might. Residents find remnants of their past lives scattered, from toys to clothes. Vehicles lie overturned, while homes and familiar landmarks have been wiped off the map.

Understanding the Scale of Devastation

The death tolls provided by officials fluctuate, but the unanimous consensus acknowledges the magnitude of the disaster. Thousands have already been confirmed dead, a number that’s feared to double with the ongoing recovery of bodies.

International Aid and Rescue Efforts

In the face of such a calamity, nations like Egypt, Tunisia, the UAE, Turkey, and Qatar have extended their helping hand, sending specialized teams to aid the rescue process. Derna’s mayor, Abdulmenam Al-Ghaithi, emphasized the dire need for teams proficient in body recovery, given the looming health concerns.

Libya’s Deep Political Divides

Rescue and salvage efforts have been extremely complex due to Libya’s shattered political landscape. Since the banishing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the nation has been seized with internal contention, leading to the presence of multiple governing bodies. This division presents challenges in orchestrating a unified response to the disaster.

A Call for National Unity

Amidst the tragedy, Libya’s leaders are urging the country to come together. Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, the Prime Minister based in Tripoli, has labeled the flood a unique calamity, echoing sentiments from Presidential Council head Mohammed al-Menfi.

The Regional Impact

As the aftermath unravels, neighboring nations too feel the ripple effects of the disaster. Egypt, for instance, mourns the loss of its migrants, with bodies being sent back to their homeland.

The Future of Derna

While the immediate focus remains on rescue and recovery, questions about Derna’s future loom large. With infrastructural damage of this scale and deep-seated political divisions, rebuilding the city will undoubtedly be a herculean task.


The floods in Derna stand as a grim reminder of nature’s unpredictable might. As Libya grapples with this catastrophe, the international community watches closely, extending support and hoping for the city’s resilient resurgence.


Derna, a Mediterranean city in Libya, has been destroyed by catastrophic floods triggered by a potent storm that controlled the bursting of dams. The destruction has resulted in thousands of deaths, with official records of the missing ranging from 5,000 to 10,000. The catastrophe has seen an outburst of international relief from countries like Egypt, Tunisia, the UAE, Turkey, and Qatar. However, rescue and recovery efforts are complicated due to Libya’s political divisions. As the nation faces this unparalleled disaster, leaders are calling for unity and solidarity. The future of Derna remains uncertain, with rebuilding posing significant challenges amidst the colossal damage and political strife.

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