On Sunday, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola extended a message of condolence and solidarity to Mohamed Al-Mnifi, the Head of Libya’s Presidential Council.
Reacting to the severe storm that wreaked havoc on Libya, Metsola stated, “The news of the tragic storm and resultant floods that besieged Libya, tragically taking numerous lives, deeply saddened us.”
Metsola’s message resounded with compassion, reflecting the sentiments of the European Parliament. She offered her heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, and expressed profound sympathy for all affected.
Highlighting the significant relationship between Europe and Libya, she underscored, “Libya is a crucial ally in our Mediterranean neighbourhood. Rest assured, Europe stands steadfastly alongside Libya during these trying times.”
Current data from the Libyan Red Crescent reveals an alarming figure: while 11,300 deaths have been confirmed, another 10,000 people remain missing. As the recovery efforts enter the one-week mark, rescue teams continue their relentless search through the debris, hunting for survivors and retrieving the deceased.
As the nation grapples with the tragedy, Libya’s prosecutor general, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, announced a thorough investigation into the dam collapses.
Built in the 1970s, these structures will be scrutinized, along with the allocation and use of funds designated for their maintenance. Al-Sour committed to stringent legal actions against any identified negligence, encompassing both city officials and historical governments.
However, the path to a comprehensive inquiry is fraught with challenges. Libya’s political landscape has been tumultuous since the 2011 NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Dueling governments have left crucial infrastructure in neglect, even as the climate crisis exacerbates weather extremes.
Libya, with its vast desert landscapes, is not typically prone to floods. However, changing climate patterns and severe weather anomalies have caused increasing concerns in recent years. The nation’s infrastructure, which is still recovering from years of conflict, has been particularly vulnerable to such extreme weather events. The catastrophe in Derna stands as a poignant reminder of the importance of proactive disaster management and climate resilience, especially in regions that might not traditionally face such threats.