Monday, July 15, 2024

Libyans risk their lives in “sinking Terna” in search of “lifelong friends”.


Eastern Libya, especially the city of Derna, is experiencing a harsh reality following the devastating cyclone that hit the country on Sunday, causing thousands of deaths and casualties, including people from Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Palestine.

The unprecedented, strong natural blow came in light of the political divide that is crossing the country, which has two governments, one supported by parliament in the east and the other in the west, and is in the midst of a collapse on many levels, the most important of which is infrastructure.

Two dams collapsed in the city of Derna, contributing to a significant increase in the death toll, while an official in eastern Libya blamed “inexperience” for the country’s current difficulties in dealing with such disasters.

Marwan Al-Sheri, a member of the Information Office of the General Administration of Coast Guard in Tobruk, said in a statement to Al-Hurrah: “Currently, all local and international teams are retrieving bodies. According to the latest census, the number of dead is around 6,200, and the missing are around 9,000. have reached

While the death toll is estimated to reach around 20,000, the final tally is not yet available as recovery efforts continue in various areas.

Among them 400 “foreigners” … New census of flood dead in Terna

More than 3,800 people have been killed in floods that have hit the Libyan city of Derna, Tariq al-Kharaz, a spokesman for the government’s interior ministry, which has joined authorities in the country’s east, said on Wednesday.

“Alive or dead?”

At 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning, as the city of Terna was hit by a powerful typhoon called “Daniel,” a young man named Muhammad Awam (age 38) called his old friends in the city to see them, but the last words he received were that they were in “great danger.” .

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The young man, who works as a civil servant, said in a phone call with Al-Hurrah website that he decided to go with several of his friends from the city of Tobruk and they went on a trip nearby. Terna tries to find friends after the news stops, in light of the weather causing phone lines to stop working.

Awam said the journey usually takes an hour and a half, but this time he drove for more than 3 hours. He added: “My life friends are from Terna, so I decided to go check on them and find out if they are alive or dead.”

Abdul Hadi al-Hawaij, the foreign minister of eastern Libya’s parliament-aligned government, said “almost a third of the city of Derna was leveled” as a result of the flooding.

The disaster of Chit… “an accurate description of what happened” in Terna

A Libyan official and water expert said the collapse of two dams contributed to a rise in the death toll in the northeastern city of Derna, which was hit by Hurricane Daniel and caused flooding and flooding that killed thousands of people. and missing.

Al-Hawaij said in an exclusive interview with Al-Hurrah TV on Wednesday that “the city has suffered an unprecedented disaster,” with several dams collapsing, while 5 bridges collapsed.

Al-Hawaij added that the losses included “other cities such as Sousse, Shahad, Al-Bayda, Al-Marj and Al-Muqaili”.

“Buildings Like Never Before”

Awam continued his speech and explained that when he arrived in town, “the situation is tragic”: “One of my friend’s brothers died, along with his wife and two children. We attended the funeral and the scene was indescribable. . There is another friend whose wife and seven children died.. . No matter what I say, I can’t.” Talk about what’s happening on the field.

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However, the young Libyan tried to describe the horror he saw: “As soon as I saw the country, I immediately cried. There were streets, buildings and cafes that I walked with my friends and could not find them. Everything…they turned into dust. It was as if a building had never existed… “I am destroyed.”

Pictures and videos posted on social media sites showed the extent of the devastation in Terna, with streets and buildings destroyed, trees uprooted and people lifting the covers of bodies lying on pavements to try to identify them.

The city can now only be reached through two southern gateways (out of seven), and electricity has been largely cut off, and its communications network has been severed, according to the International Organization for Migration.

“Egyptians want to stay”

Egypt announced on Wednesday that 84 of the dead had been identified and flown home.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Egyptian Embassy in Benghazi is coordinating with the health and security authorities in Derna and the Libyan Red Cross with the aim of determining the exact number of Egyptian casualties and injuries. , and serving to rescue and shelter survivors despite the difficult circumstances surrounding rescue operations due to infrastructure collapse.

For his part, al-Sheri said, “60 Egyptians have survived, some of whom decided to stay.” He explained: “We gave them a choice, some of them decided to return to their country, and some wanted to stay. .”

He pointed out that most of the surviving Egyptians were “in the famous Derna market, some of them died, some of them survived, and among them were women.”

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“From the Hell of Poverty to the Flood of Terna.” Families of missing Egyptians in Libya await news of them.

As soon as you set foot in the villages of Kafr Mid Siraj, Jiris and Shama in Menufia Governorate, Egypt, sadness and fear fill the hearts of people who are hoping for any information about their missing children. The floods that hit the Libyan city of Derna in the past days, known as Hurricane Daniel.

“Bodies Thrown in the Sea”

Local and international rescue teams continue their work along the city’s beaches in the eastern and western parts of Terna.

According to an official of the Coast Guard in Tobruk, “there have been reports of bodies in coastal towns near Derna,” adding: “Most of the bodies were thrown into the sea.”

Regarding the problems they currently face, Al-Sheri said: “Because Libya has never experienced such disasters before, most of the problems are inexperience. We need experts in this field.”

He continued to explain: “Several countries have already sent equipment and rescue teams specialized in rescue operations, such as Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, the Emirates and many others.”

“The priority right now is to recover the bodies and bury them as soon as possible,” Ahmed Zuwaiden, the WHO representative in Libya, told Al-Hurrah TV on Wednesday evening, noting that “a quarter are in hospital centers. The affected area is out of service.”

He emphasized that the current priority is to “return hospitals to work and provide health services to the residents of the affected areas”.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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