A Man Killed by Floods in Libya After Dam Collapse Raises Concerns
Just a week before the devastating floods in Libya that led to the deaths of thousands of people, a man had raised concerns about the safety of the dams that eventually collapsed. Khalil Elhassi, a journalist and friend of the man who lost his life, revealed that his friend, Mustafa Al-Tarabulsi, was present at a residents’ meeting where the safety of the dams was discussed. The collapse of the dams resulted in the worst natural disaster in Libya, and residents are now demanding investigations into the responsible parties.
The Tragic Events Unfold
On September 11, 2023, at 3 am, floods tore through the city of Derna, leaving destruction and loss of lives in their wake. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the death toll in the city, which has a population of 120,000, stands at 3,922. However, with thousands of people still missing, fears are growing that the ultimate toll could be much higher. Derna’s mayor believes that over 20,000 lives have been lost.
As the floods wreaked havoc, some residents managed to escape to the safety of higher floors in their homes. Khalil Elhassi’s family was among the fortunate ones who survived. They fled to a town 100 kilometers west of Derna, leaving behind their devastated city. Unfortunately, Mustafa Al-Tarabulsi, who had attended the meeting where concerns about the dams were voiced, lost his life in the floods.
Corrupt Government and Neglected Dams
Khalil Elhassi blames the “corrupt government” for the collapse of the dams and the resulting tragedy. He claims that warnings about the state of the dams and the need for maintenance and inspection fell on deaf ears for decades. The collapse of the dams, according to Elhassi, was not a natural occurrence but a consequence of neglect and disregard for safety.
Angry and frustrated, the residents of Derna took to the streets to voice their grievances and demand justice. They want expedited investigations into the responsible parties and an international conference to address the calamity that has befallen their city.
Protests and Calls for Accountability
In response to the floods and the failure of authorities to protect the city, hundreds of protesters filled the streets of Derna. They expressed their anger and disappointment at the government’s handling of the situation. Mayor Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi’s house was stormed and set on fire by protesters, resulting in his suspension from office.
The eastern-based parliament speaker, Aguila Saleh, faced the wrath of the demonstrators as well. They denounced him for dismissing the floods as an unavoidable natural catastrophe. The protesters demanded urgent investigations into the dam collapse, which they believe caused the loss of thousands of lives.
The Road to Recovery
The aftermath of the disaster has plunged Derna into even greater turmoil. The once agricultural town has lost its crops and livelihoods, leaving its residents in dire need of support. With no clean water supply, food, or necessary documents for movement, the survivors are facing immense challenges.
There are concerns about the government’s ability and willingness to rebuild the city. Many residents lack trust and faith in the government’s ability to fulfill its promises. They fear that the reconstruction efforts will be delayed or inadequate.
Despite the challenges, the residents of Derna continue to persevere and demand accountability for the tragedy that has befallen them. They hope that their protests and calls for justice will lead to a better future for their city.
While the investigation into the collapse of the dams is ongoing, the residents of Derna are left to grapple with the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster, mourning the loss of loved ones and rebuilding their lives.