A journalist from Libya informed the BBC that residents of the city of Derna, which has been devastated by flooding, are currently experiencing “doomsday.”
More than 5,300 people lost their lives as flood waters in the city’s east broke through two dams and washed away their homes.
During an appearance on the Today program on the BBC, Johr Ali stated that survivors had described images of complete and utter destruction.
He stated that entire families had been wiped off by the treacherous waters. One of our friends discovered his nephew dead in the middle of the road, having been carried there by water that had fallen from their neighbor’s roof.
The reporter, who is currently living in exile in Istanbul due to the attacks that have been carried out against journalists in Libya, shared the news that another one of his friends had lost his entire family in the tragedy.
According to Mr. Ali’s recollection, “I was next to him when I heard the news of the deaths of [his friends’] entire family.”
“His mother, his father, his two brothers, his sister Maryam, and his wife – his newly married wife – who he sent to Libya to visit his family just two weeks ago, along with his little kid who is eight months old.” “His mother, his father, his two brothers, his sister Maryam, and his wife – his newly married wife.”
“All of those passed away, as did every member of his family, and now he is asking me what the next step should be.”
Keep up to date with live updates as the extent of the destruction in Libya becomes clear.
Whole neighborhoods were dragged into the water as a result.
Why the port city of Derna was hit with such a devastating blow
In a different incident, Mr. Ali stated that a survivor had related to him that they had seen “a woman hang from the streetlights, because she was taken away by the floods, and she was hanged from the streetlights.”
“She stayed and died there,” Mr. Ali explained further.
Before the calamity that occurred this week, the population of the port city was somewhere about 90,000. It is suspected by officials that over 10,000 people are still missing, with some possibly having been carried away by the tremendous floodwaters that flowed into the Mediterranean Sea.
The roads of Derna are strewn with overturned automobiles and are covered in mud and debris from the recent fighting. According to Mr. Ali, just three of the city’s ten geographical regions were able to avoid being affected by the water.
He went on to say that the city was now surrounded by a never-ending cacophony of the shrieks of infants and young children.
In the meantime, a large number of individuals and aid workers are searching the city of Derna for any survivors; it is suspected that many of them are buried beneath the rubble of the collapsed buildings.
According to the information provided by Mr. Ali, “people are hearing the cries of babies underground, but they don’t know how to get to them.”
“People are using shovels, and they are also using their own hands, to dig up the dead that are buried beneath the dirt. There are pictures of people in the city pulling bodies out of the water with their bare hands and no clothes on.
“The situation has reached unimaginable proportions.”
There are two competing governments in Libya: the one that is internationally recognized as the interim government and is based in Tripoli, and another government that is based in the east of the country.
Due to the calamity, there have been unusual instances of cooperation between the many opposing nations. On Tuesday, humanitarian aid flights carrying medical supplies were dispatched from Tripoli to the city of Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
However, partisan lines remain starkly defined elsewhere, with Khalifa Haftar, leader of the self-styled Libyan National Army that dominates the east, defying international pledges of support from friends of the western, Tripoli-based authority. Haftar is in control of the eastern region.
Mr. Ali was quick to denounce both administrations, which he stated were not responding in an effective enough manner, according to Mr. Ali.
According to comments made by Mr. Ali to the BBC, “unfortunately, the country is divided between two governments, and unfortunately, those two weak and unqualified governments did not receive the assistance that the people require.”
And despite the fact that the United Nations has committed to supporting relief operations and the Red Cross has stated that its personnel are engaged on the ground, Mr. Ali stated that only the most basic supplies have been able to reach those who had survived.
According to what he said, “On the ground, only assistance from Turkey arrived in the city of Derna, and it was only on a small scale.”
“There are a great number of individuals who do not have somewhere safe to sleep, food to eat, or clean water to drink. People are reaching out to one another in an effort to offer assistance.
“What we need right now is international support on a huge scale, on a big scale, and it should come immediately to come and help the people,”