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Libyan Disaster -
My heart breaks for the loss of life and destruction experienced by so many people
Right now, it appears that about 15,000 are dead in Libya and maybe thousands more? Currently, there are over 6,000 dead as of today and at least 10,000 missing. At least 34,000 people have lost their homes. Truly horrific. Libya needs help.
This morning, I have been trying to understand the flooding. This is what I have gleaned. The first wave of deaths were attributed to storm Daniel (I was actually on a boat in Italy when the beginnings of that storm passed over us- we had to go to harbor to wait it out and that was in the gentle seas of the Mediterranean). This was no ordinary storm. We were on one of many boats that had to run for safe harbor and this was before the storm grew into the behemoth that it did.
Libya tried to prepare. They took precautionary measures, such as closing four oil ports. On September 10th, the state-owned National Oil Corp. declared a state of maximum alert, in anticipation of a possible hurricane making its way towards the country. And Storm Daniel did come to Libya as a full force hurricane (typhoon). Even the initial footage of flooding before the dams broke is horrific.
This is the primary cause of why the two dams broke catastrophically. It could also be that they weren't in good condition - certainly the MSM wants to imply that. But of course, one must ask how do two dams fail at exactly the same time?
Because the dams were in series. The upper dam collapsed first, propelling a huge wave of water which overwhelmed the dam closer to the city of Derna - as shown in the map below:
What this means for the future of Libya and the water needs of the nation?
Is there a plan B for the residents of the city of Derna for future water needs? How many people were dependent on those dams for water? No one seems to be writing of the dire situation to come. This disaster is surely just beginning.
Now, we don't need another political lesson on why Libya is a failed state for the sake of politics but an understanding of the nation is important. Libya has been a failed state since “we” worked to successfully overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The four-decade long de facto leadership of Colonel Gaddafi ended when he was killed in a 2011 rebellion aided by “Western military intervention” (that includes the involvement of USA). Since then, the country has become destabilized and split into two regional (eastern and western) factions. Although a ceasefire has been maintained since 2020, the two factions are still not really communicating with each other. This has become a significant issue with this catastrophic flooding.
Good journalism matters. The truth is that the world needs a boots on the ground analysis of the situation in Libya and what is to come. Something that is lacking in today's press. What can the international community do to help?
This is an opportunity for the USA to step up and do good. Peace isn't won just by fighting wars. It is also won by doing good. Now is the time to do good, to do the right thing.
"The devastation is so deep some areas have been vanished, completely disappeared So imagine a residential area has been destroyed completely, you cannot see it, it's not existing anymore. I've never seen anything like this before.”
-Hishem Abu Chkiouat, Minister for Civil Aviation in the east Libyan authority
Video of Derna -
“It’s a pathetic state of affairs and this is due to the idiotic situation – we should call a spade a spade, I think this is due to the foolishness of those on the forefront of our public affairs,”
“I think the two governments are not speaking to each other – we badly need something coordinated so that calls for international aid are carried out…
“It’s time we put aside the political divide and tackle this catastrophic situation"
-Former Libyan foreign minister Mohammed al-Dairi
The world is coming together to help Libya and many countries have rushed in to fill the void, although the amount of help being offered at this point seems rather pitiful.
According to the White House, The United States is sending emergency funds to relief organizations and coordinating with Libyan authorities and the United Nations to provide support after flooding.
Frankly, the above statement from the White House is fuzzy on the details. We don’t actually know what or how much the USA plans to send or what, realistically that support might look like. I doubt it will come close to what was spent on the military adventure to overthrow Gaddafi, let alone what has been spent in the Ukraine.
It is very hard to know how individuals can help.
Charity navigator lists 17 organizations, but none are directly related to Libya.
International Rescue Committee: The IRC is accepting donations to help with critical services for flood victims. More info here.
Libya In the U.K.: This organization has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help those affected by the flooding. Funds will be used to help obtain provisions including food, non-food items, and emergency shelter.
Storm Daniel Libya: This is another GoFundMe fund. Funds will be donated to the Libyan Red Crescent and Boy Scout organizations that are active in the region to aid those displaced by the storms.
International Medical Corps: The first-responder organization accepts donations on a one-time or recurring basis. Funds will help the International Medical Corps to provide Libyans with immediate needs such as shelter, water, mobile health services, and sanitation.
The Red Cross: The International Committee of the Red Cross has long been active in Libya. You can donate to the Red Cross here.
I just want to end with how sad I find all of this. So many deaths, such destruction and lives ruined. It is hard to wrap my mind around this.
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