After a strong storm caused catastrophic floods in Libya, thousands of people are thought dead.
Over 2,000 people have died, according to the head of the internationally unrecognized east Libyan government, and many more are missing.
According to Jalel Harchaoui, an expert on Libya, “several thousand” people could have died.
Authorities proclaimed a state of extraordinary emergency after Storm Daniel made landfall on Sunday.
During ongoing rescue operations, seven Libyan army men went missing.
Authorities in the east enforced a curfew, and stores and schools were instructed to close.
The affected cities were Benghazi, Sousse, Derna, and Al-Marj, which are all in the east.
The Libyan Red Cross said that at least 150 homes had been destroyed in addition to the mounting death toll.
According to news agency Reuters, the head of the Red Crescent humanitarian network claimed that Derna alone has seen at least 150 fatalities.
According to reports, two dams in Derna, which is home to about 100,000 people, fell, flooding parts of the neighborhood and killing some locals.
As a result, the port was designated a “disaster city” by the authorities.
Osama Hamad, the prime minister of Eastern Libya, said on a Libyan television station that “entire neighborhoods in Derna have disappeared, along with their residents…swept away by water.”
Mr. Hamad did not cite where he obtained his data.
The western city of Misrata was affected by the floods, along with places in the east.
Unreliable storm films have been making the rounds online, one of which shows a guy being carried away by floodwaters. Drivers caught on their car roofs are seen in other video.
Four significant oil ports were closed due to the storm, in addition to schools and stores.
The competing, internationally recognized government in Tripoli has been active while the administration in Benghazi has been handling issues in the east of the country.
While the United Nations in Libya said it was closely monitoring the storm and would “provide urgent relief assistance in support of response efforts at local and national levels,” Libya’s Prime Minister, Abdulhamid Dbeiba, said on Sunday that he had ordered all state agencies to “immediately deal” with the damage and floods.
After longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated in 2011, Libya has been split between two competing governments since 2014.
Following the arrival of Storm Daniel, both governments proclaimed three days of mourning.
More than a dozen people were killed when it hit Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey last week.
Egypt was preparing for Storm Daniel on Monday, and in the evening, the country’s meteorological agency reported that rainclouds had grown in number over the northwest coast.
Climate experts have issued a warning that increased summertime evaporation of water will result in more powerful storms.