North African news catch-all thread

Thousands Feared Dead in Libya Flooding - The New York Times (

Thousands of people have been killed in Libya in the flooding caused by heavy rains that devastated parts of the country this weekend, a disaster exacerbated by the collapse of two dams in the coastal city of Derna, aid agencies said on Tuesday.

Tamer Ramadan, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies delegation in Libya, said the death toll from the flooding was expected to reach thousands in coming days. Speaking to reporters at a U.N. briefing via videoconference from Tunisia, he said 10,000 people were missing, and that those figures were based on reports from the Libyan Red Crescent on the ground.

A Libyan ambulance and emergency services department said least 2,300 people had died and more than 5,000 were missing after heavy rainfall over the weekend in the northeast of Libya swelled waters over riverbanks, sweeping away homes and cutting off roads.

In pictures: Quarter of coastal Libyan city wiped out in deadly flooding (

Libya: 10,000 missing after unprecedented floods, says Red Cross | Libya | The Guardian

Tue 12 Sep 2023 06.27 EDT

Ten thousand people are missing after unprecedented flooding in Libya, the Red Cross said on Tuesday, as the extent of the damage to Derna, the port city where two dams burst over the weekend, became more clear.

Tamer Ramadan, the Libya envoy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, gave the figure at a UN briefing in Geneva, describing the death toll as “huge”.

The health minister in the administration that controls the east of Libya said more than 3,000 people had been confirmed dead. “The number of missing people is in the thousands, and the number of dead is expected to reach 10,000,” Othman Abdel Jalil told Al-Massar TV channel.

Entire neighbourhoods have been washed away in Derna. More than 700 bodies have piled up in the cemetery waiting to be identified, and local health officials said as many as 5,000 people were missing.

“The situation in the city of Derna is becoming more tragic, and there are no final statistics on the number of victims,” Jalil said. “Many neighbourhoods were inaccessible.”

Hichem Chkiouat, the minister of civil aviation, said the situation in Derna was disastrous. “Bodies are lying everywhere – in the sea, in the valleys, under the buildings,” Chkiouat told Reuters by phone after a visit to the city. “I am not exaggerating when I say that 25% of the city has disappeared. Many, many buildings have collapsed.”

The final toll would be “really, really big”, he added.

Morocco earth quake kills thousands

Morocco: news, videos, reports and analysis - France 24

Morocco earthquake: death toll passes 2,800 as foreign aid teams fly in | Morocco earthquake 2023 | The Guardian

The death toll in the Moroccan earthquake has passed 2,800 people as a limited number of foreign aid and rescue teams joined an intensifying race against time to find any remaining survivors high in the Atlas mountains, where many villages remain inaccessible.

Moroccan authorities said they had “responded favourably” to offers of help from visiting search and rescue teams from Spain, Qatar, Britain and the United Arab Emirates, but they were yet to accept further offers of aid from other countries despite the urgent nature of the disaster – including from France and from Turkey, which experienced a deadly earthquake in February. Its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said it would help “with all means” if its offer was accepted.

The state news agency said: “Moroccan authorities have carried out a precise assessment of needs on the ground, given the fact that non-coordination in such situations could be counterproductive.”

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI thanked countries for their offers of help.

16,000 missing. By the prophets.