Communication Lost with Libyan Soldiers During Storm Rescue Efforts

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The Spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), General Ahmed Al-Mismari announced the loss of contact with five soldiers, during the operation to rescue stranded families in the city of Al-Bayda.

On Sunday, the LNA’s Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar issued stringent instructions to all military units, directing them to elevate their state of readiness, in anticipation of impending storms and heavy rainfall.

A statement emphasises the adoption of “all necessary measures to ensure the success of rescue operations, and protection in regions that might be hit by adverse weather conditions.”

The General Command also highlighted that these directives “stem from the army’s national role in safeguarding the lives and properties of the Libyan people, throughout the nation.”

According to Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath, the number of flood victims in Derna alone has risen to 150 fatalities on Monday.

In response to the situation, the High Emergency Committee has declared a state of alert, to provide relief to those affected by to floods, and the consequent devastation across the country.

Libyan authorities have confirmed that heavy rainfall has caused significant and severe damage to infrastructure and property, while the search for missing individuals continues.

Several cities in eastern and western Libya have been hit by floods, resulting in the inundation of houses, hospitals, damage to vehicles, and the destruction of roads due to the overflowing of rivers.

The Libyan Red Crescent reported the death of one of its members, others missing, and the loss of two vehicles while attempting to rescue stranded families. The situation in some eastern Libyan cities has reached a critical point due to the floods.

It is expected that the death toll will rise in the coming hours as the search for missing individuals continues, compounded by the difficulty of accessing some affected areas.

Notably, the most affected cities so far are Derna, Shahhat, and Al-Bayda in eastern Libya.

Local authorities have announced that the situation is out of control, even in areas not expected to be affected. They have highlighted the evacuation of families to hotels and care centers, while the number of people still trapped inside their homes remains unknown.

In turn, the Libyan Parliament-designate government declared the city of Derna as a disaster-stricken area. This is following Storm Daniel, which struck the eastern part of the country and caused damage to public and private property.