After the catastrophic floods in Libya with thousands of deaths, rescue workers continue to search for survivors. Because of the masses of water, many areas are cut off from the outside world. According to the Red Cross yesterday, around 10,000 people are missing.

Images from the civil war country show the extent of the damage, with the situation in the port city of Darna being particularly drastic. As the scale of the disaster slowly becomes clear, more and more countries are offering their support. The United Nations also wants to help.

Around 20,000 square kilometers flooded

We are working with local, national and international partners “to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the people in the affected areas,” said a spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York. A UN team is on site. We are cooperating with the authorities to identify needs and support ongoing relief efforts. In addition to Darna, other cities such as Al-Baida, Al-Marj, Susa and Shahat were also affected.

The mayor in Shahat spoke of around 20,000 square kilometers of flooded areas – an area about the size of Saxony-Anhalt. The affected regions were declared disaster areas. According to one of the two rival governments in the civil war country, around 5,200 people were killed. This number could not initially be confirmed independently.

Climate change is an aggravating factor

The aid organization International Rescue Committee (IRC) announced during the night that it was working with other organizations to examine “how we can best increase our program work for the people affected by the floods.” “The situation in Libya has steadily deteriorated due to years of conflict and instability, compounded by the impacts of climate change,” said IRC Vice President Ciaran Donnelly.

Storm “Daniel”, which had already caused severe destruction in Greece, hit the North African country with around seven million inhabitants on Sunday. The political situation in Libya has been deadlocked for a long time: two hostile governments – one based in the east, the other based in the west – are fighting for power.

The United Nations-recognized government in the capital Tripoli promised millions in aid for the disaster areas – even though it does not control the area. The government under Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbaiba is providing two billion Libyan dinars (around 384 million euros) in support, the Libyan state news agency Lana reported on Tuesday. This was intended to finance reconstruction measures in affected areas.