On Sunday 10 September, Storm Daniel hit Libya. It’s feared more than 20,000 people have died after the catastrophic Mediterranean storm burst two dams and flooded the eastern port city of Derna.
Almost 4,000 people are known to have died and over 9,000 are missing after torrents of water and debris swept away entire districts. Bodies are being recovered from the sea.
Storm Daniel has destroyed houses and utility supplies, leaving many areas without any electrical power or water. Families seeking refuge at shelters have lost everything.
Hundreds of homes are buried under mud and debris, and the fear is that many people are also buried in the mud.
People are without the basics such as access to clean water and proper sanitation facilities to prevent the risk of diseases.
Libya is facing a crisis
Even before this latest disaster, Libya has been beset by the lack of a unified government, with rival factions in the east and west of the country jostling for power.
Several humanitarian partners expressed serious concerns of increasing human trafficking and smuggling networks targeting vulnerable migrants in Libya.
Rainfall associated with devastating storms like this are being supercharged by the climate crisis, scientists are confident in saying.
People are facing crisis on crisis.
Christian Aid is working with Dan Church Aid, our Act Alliance partner who have a long-established presence in Libya, to send emergency supplies for the most pressing needs, such as:
- Medical assistance, supplies and pharmaceuticals
- Emergency shelter
- Sanitation and hygiene kits
Longer term, Dan Church Aid will look to contribute rubble clearance and reconstruction efforts, using mechanical assets. With winter approaching, needs will become even more acute, and a feature of a future response phase will be preparing for winter.
Rescue teams have arrived from countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, Spain and Turkey to work alongside the local authorities.
You can help local responders make a huge difference to so many people who have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.
A prayer for Libya
God of compassion and hope, we cry to you for your children - our neighbours - in Libya, following the flooding that has devastated thousands of lives. Only they and you know what it is like to experience such trauma in the middle of the night.
We give thanks for the aid that is already being given and for the promises of help that have been made by many nations.
Comfort, we pray,
those who are trapped in collapsed buildings;
those who have lost loved ones;
those who wait for news and
those digging through rubble to save others.
Grant the gift of hope so that those caught between life and death know that you are with them and that others are ready to support them as they seek a future that overshadows the experiences of today.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus, who endured so much for love of them.