A major disaster struck Libya when two dams collapsed, causing catastrophic flooding. The death toll has surpassed 5,300, and over 10,000 people are missing, with little hope of finding many of them alive.
Libya has been in turmoil since 2011 when a popular uprising led to the downfall and death of its long-time leader, Muammar Gaddafi. The country is divided into two rival governments, one based in Tripoli and recognized internationally, and another in the disaster-affected eastern region.
Years of conflict have led to neglect of public services and infrastructure, and there’s been little oversight of private construction. Derna, one of the hardest-hit cities, was under the control of Islamist militant groups until 2019 when it was taken over by General Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
The devastation also affected nearby areas like Bayda, where around 50 people lost their lives, and Marj, where the floods severely damaged fields and farmland.
Simha Asuquo contributes from Lagos, Nigeria