Destruction of Derna: why was flooding so bad in Libyan port city?

In World

What do we know about the flooding?

Parts of eastern Libya have been hit by devastating flooding after Storm Daniel pounded the country’s Mediterranean coast. Confirmed death tolls given by officials so far have varied, but all are in the thousands, with thousands more on lists of the missing.

Apocalyptic footage of widespread damage has emerged from the port city of Derna, where officials estimate that as many as 20,000 people may have died.

Derna drone footage

This photograph from Monday shows extensive damage to buildings on the banks of the river the morning after the flood:

People look at the damage caused by floods in Derna
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

This photo taken on Tuesday shows a large mass of water where a coastal road once stood:

A large mass of water where a coastal road once stood in Derna
Photograph: Jamal Alkomaty/AP

This next one taken on Thursday shows the scene four days after the flood:

Aftermath of flooding in Derna.
Photograph: Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters

Why was Derna so badly hit?

The city with a population of 90,000 is bisected by the Wadi Derna, a seasonal river that flows from highlands to the south, and is normally protected from flooding by dams.

On Sunday night two dams collapsed, unleashing raging waters that swept away residential neighbourhoods on both banks of the river.

Annotated satellite images depicting flow of water towards Derna.

In this video, a man points at what remains of one of the two destroyed dams:

A burst dam outside Derna

These before and after satellite images give an overview of the flood damage in the city …

Overview of flood damage in Derna

… and these show damaged neighbourhoods in more detail:

Damage on the banks of the Wadi Derna

Damage to a neighbourhood

You can view more before and after imagery here.

This looped video also illustrates the scale of the destruction:

Looped video showing scale of destruction.

Where else was hit?

Other badly affected areas included the towns of Bayda, Shahatt, Marj and Susa, where footage showed cars piled up on each other:

Footage of cars in Susa

Is Libya equipped to deal with the devastation?

The collapse of the two dams on Wadi Derna underscored the weakness of Libya’s infrastructure after more than a decade of chaos. The oil-rich nation remains divided between two rival administrations: one in the east and one in the west, each backed by different militias and foreign governments.

Which other countries have been affected by Storm Daniel?

The storm killed at least 27 people when it struck parts of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey last week before moving south. This map and the satellite footage below it show the path of the storm:

Storm Daniel map

Satellite footage of storm’s progress

Footage from Greece from last week showed cars being swept into the sea and sinkholes opening in roads after days of torrential rain in the centre of the country.

Read More: Destruction of Derna: why was flooding so bad in Libyan port city?

Join Our Newsletter!

Love Daynight? We love to tell you about our new stuff. Subscribe to newsletter!

You may also read!

Huge fire engulfs police complex in Egypt’s Ismailia

BREAKINGBREAKING, Videos show sprawling building ablaze with some parts appearing to collapse.A huge fire has erupted at a


World Bank downgrades developing East Asia growth forecast, weighed by a slowing China

An urban view of high-rise buildings at dusk as seen from Hong Kong's Victoria Peak on July 23,


Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.