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Dam collapse in Libya kills thousands

Laura Paddison
Flooding in Derna due to collapse of two dams

On Sept. 11, the unprecedented bursts of two dams in Libya led floodwater to overflow Derna and resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city. 

Libya had been dealing with the aftermath of Storm Daniel just a week before the two dam failures on the night of Sept. 11. Storm Daniel is recorded to be one of the deadliest cyclones that have led to extreme rainfall and flooding in southeast Europe which affected Libya severely. The death toll is rising as the rescue continues. Just in a week, at least 11,300 deaths were recorded and the rescue team is in search for more than 10,000 missing people. 

The flood damaged the city so much to the extent that Derna after the flood was unrecognizable. The flood swept away the buildings, bridges, and homes including in the capital city, Tripoli. The city’s negligence in properly maintaining the infrastructure was one of the leading causes behind the disastrous aftermath along with climate change that caused Storm Daniel. 

Countless people lost their families due to this flood. One Libyan victim of this flood lost five of her family members and even her home. The death toll continues to rise as the rescue team’s effort carries on. However, in order to rescue the missing people and retrieve the bodies in the sea, special rescue teams were needed. Libyan rescue teams called for help as the rescue needed haste. 

“Bodies are severely decomposing and at one point retrieving them might not be possible,” the representative of the Tunisian mission said. “We need assistance, so our intervention is more efficient.” 

South Korea is providing Libya with two million dollars in humanitarian assistance. The Korean government hopes the aid will stabilize the Libyan people in their recovery effort. 

“My overall view is really that we need to support one another. I understand that people are very upset because you and your country just lost family and friends due to a natural disaster,” Amy Kuhn, advisor for Habitat for Humanity said. “We can come together and help those in need. We don’t live in that country, but we are all still global citizens of this world.” 

“Even in Korea whenever there is a flood during the summer, the whole country is fatally affected by it since it causes deaths to its citizens,” Hannah Kim (10), member of Red Cross Youth said. “I remember last summer the flood caused me an inconvenience. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for the people of Libya to go through a much more horrific disaster, losing their family, friends, and even their home.” 

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About the Contributor
Taerin Kim
Taerin Kim, Reporter
Taerin Kim is a sophomore reporter of Tiger Times Online. In her free time, she likes to play guitar and watch TV shows, especially in the genre of comedy. If you have any TV show recommendations, please don’t hesitate to approach her! 

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