More than 3,000 people are feared dead and 10,000 are missing in Libya after torrential rains from Storm Daniel destroyed two dams, unleashing monstrous torrents of water, into, over, and through the port city of Derna on the Mediterranean coast. The deluge dropped by Storm Daniel, a tropical-like cyclone known as a ‘medicane,’ caused catastrophic flooding in Greece last week. More than 16 inches of rain fell on Bayda — which gets about half an inch of rain in a regular September — in about 24 hours, and witnesses told Reuters floodwaters in Derna were as high as 10 feet. Rescue and recovery efforts are hampered by political unrest in the country.
Libyan health minister Othman Abdel Jalil told the Al-Massar TV channel 3,000 had been confirmed dead, according to The Guardian, and “The number of missing people is in the thousands, and the number of dead is expected to reach 10,000.” “I returned from Derna. It is very disastrous. Bodies are lying everywhere – in the sea, in the valleys, under the buildings,” Hichem Abu Chkiouat, minister of civil aviation, told Reuters by phone. “The number of bodies recovered in Derna is more [than] 1,000,” he said. “I am not exaggerating when I say that 25% of the city has disappeared. Many, many buildings have collapsed.” (Dams: The Guardian, Reuters, CNN, Axios, New York Times $, CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal $, AP, BBC, Weather Channel, PBS NewsHour, France24, ABC; Rain & flood stats: Washington Post $, Reuters; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase)