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Libya: Authorities estimate more than 6,000 deaths after Storm Daniel

The worst damage was in the coastal city of Derna, where two dams in a ravine broke and released a massive amount of water in the area.

Destrozos causados por la tormenta Daniel en Libia.

(Cordon Press)

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Disaster has struck in Libya after the passage of Storm Daniel through the Mediterranean. The storm left large amounts of rain on the coasts of North Africa that led to severe flooding in the country. According to the authorities, the death toll has already exceeded 6,200, 5,300 in the city of Derna.

Although the data provided by the Tobruk government have not yet been verified, the Red Cross and Red Crescent have ensured that about 10,000 people are missing after the storm. The coastal city of Derna bore the brunt of the damage when two dams collapsed, causing complete flooding of the region. In the municipality of Derna alone, at least 6,000 people have disappeared, Health Minister Othman Abduljalil announced in statements to Libyan television station AlmasarTV.

Other areas of northwestern Libya were affected by heavy rains and flooding. On the other side of the Mediterranean, Storm Daniel also caused heavy rains in Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, although with much less damage.

Since the outbreak of the Libyan crisis in 2011, the eastern part of the country has been under the control of a government with limited international recognition and headquarters in Tobruk. Officially, the United States and the United Nations recognize the Tripoli-based government, although they maintain a dialogue with authorities in Tobruk.

The deterioration of state institutions and civil society in Libya has complicated rescue efforts. The Red Crescent said at a press conference that it does not have the necessary resources to care for all the victims of this disaster.

Government sources in eastern Libya tell CNN that the damage left after Storm Daniel is the worst in the country's recent history. "Libya was not prepared for a catastrophe like that. It has not witnessed that level of catastrophe before. We are admitting there were shortcomings even though this is the first time we face that level of catastrophe," Osama Aly, head of the Libyan Emergency and Ambulance authority, told CNN.

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