State of emergency in Libya after floods

Storm Daniel has caused severe flooding in eastern Libya. The port city of Derna is particularly hard hit. More than 11,000 people have died and more than 10,000 are still missing after two apparently dilapidated dams burst under the pressure of the water masses. The country has been in crisis for years and this latest disaster only adds to the people's plight, commentators stress.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Infrastructure neglected for too long

The dire consequences of the floods are a direct result of the country's woes, The Guardian laments:

“Libya shows the disastrous consequences when governments not only fail to protect their citizens but also put them into greater danger. Muammar Gaddafi's corrupt regime has been followed by more than a decade of revolution, civil war and political deadlock. Essential infrastructure has not only been neglected - one of Derna's dams had reportedly not been maintained since 2002 - but also plundered by the powerful and their cronies.”

La Croix (FR) /

Cut off from the rest of the world

Despite Libya's proximity to Europe, the country's suffering does not receive the attention it deserves, La Croix criticises:

“Since the war that followed the Gaddafi's fall (triggered by France), Libya has been in a black hole. ... There are no journalists. Very few NGOs. Insecurity, fighting and the presence of jihadist groups keep Libyans cut off from the rest of the world. The slowness of Europe's mobilisation clearly shows that geographical location is not the only measure of compassion: we can be close, separated by just a few kilometres of Mediterranean Sea, and still know nothing about each other's needs.”

Politiken (DK) /

Plunged further into chaos

Already plagued by civil war, Libya is caught in a downward spiral, Politiken explains:

“The toxic cocktail of climate change and failed states costs lives and can easily become self-reinforcing. Climate change disproportionately affects poor and politically challenged states such as Libya. Climate disasters weaken them further and so the downward spiral continues. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. The long-term solution is to solve the climate crisis, but in the short term, the international community must help now.”