This is what the Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed government based in eastern Libya, Osama Hamad, said. He added on Monday that thousands of people were missing, but did not say where his figures came from.
The head of the Red Crescent Organization in Benghazi, Kais Fhakeri, confirmed that storm Daniel left at least 150 people dead in the town of Derna, after the water level in the town reached 3 meters.
The Derna city council said two dams also collapsed and videos posted online showed entire neighborhoods destroyed along the Wadi Derna, a river that flows from the mountains into the city center.
“The city of Derna is completely surrounded by mountains, and these dams collapsed,” said Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina. “Some experts are saying more than 30 million cubic square metres of water was dumped into the city, and we’re starting to see pictures of entire neighbourhoods destroyed.
Images posted on social media showed people stuck on car roofs as Hurricane Daniel hit the cities of Benghazi, Susa, Bayda, al-Marj and Derna on Sunday and Monday.
“We were asleep, and when we woke up, we found water besieging the house. We are inside and trying to get out,” Derna resident Ahmed Mohamed said on Monday.
Outside Derna, at least 12 people were killed in the eastern town of Bayda, the town’s main medical center said. According to the Ambulance and Emergency Situations Service, another seven people were reported dead in the coastal town of Susa in northeastern Libya. Seven other people were reported killed in the towns of Shahatt and Omar al-Mokhtar, the minister said.
Another person was confirmed dead on Sunday. According to Walid al-Arfi, spokesman for the emergency response agency in eastern Libya, the man was trapped in a car and surrounded by floods in the eastern Libyan town of al-Marj.
The Libyan Red Crescent said it lost contact with one of its staff members while trying to help a family stranded in Bayda. According to local media, dozens of other people are missing and authorities fear they may have died in floods that destroyed homes and other property in several towns in eastern Libya.
Among the missing are seven members of the Libyan National Army (LNA), the force commanded by Khalifa Haftar that controls the eastern part of the divided country, LNA spokesman Ahmad Mismari said.
Images broadcast on Mostakbal TV channel in eastern Libya showed heavy flooding washing away vehicles. The channel also released footage of a collapsed road between Susa and Shahat, where the Greek-founded archaeological site of Cyrene, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located.
The parliament in eastern Libya declared three days of mourning. Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, prime minister of the internationally recognized interim government in Tripoli, western Libya, also declared three days of mourning in all affected towns, calling them “disaster areas”. Four major oil ports in Libya, Ras Lanouf, Zueitina, Brega and Es Sidra, were closed on Saturday night for three days, two petroleum engineers said.
Witnesses said search and rescue operations were underway. Authorities declared a state of extreme emergency, closed schools and shops and imposed a curfew.
Although his administration has little influence in eastern Libya, Dbeibah said on Sunday that he had ordered all state agencies to “immediately address” damage and flooding in cities. east.
Dbeibah’s government is recognized by the Central Bank of Libya, which distributes funds to government ministries across the country. The United Nations in Libya said it was closely monitoring the storm and would “provide urgent humanitarian assistance to support response efforts at local and national levels.”