July 19, 2024

Two aid flights arrive in Benghazi from Doha along with a team from the Qatar Red Crescent.

Qatar has sent 23 tonnes of aid and a search-and-rescue team to help the flood-stricken Libyan city of Derna.

Two aid flights arrived in Benghazi from Doha on Thursday along with a team from the Qatar Red Crescent, which stayed behind to help with search and recovery operations.

“We have two cargoes full of medical [supplies]. It’s a huge amount. We’re trying to cover the needs as much as we can,” Abdul Aziz from the Qatar Red Crescent told Al Jazeera.

“You can see even today that bodies have come out from the sea due to the floods. There are still bodies under the sea.”

The Qatari aid shipments, which include everything from tents to medicine, will soon make their way to Derna via alternative routes as the main roads to the city remain cut off because of flood damage, Al Jazeera’s Osama Javaid reported from Benghazi.

“Now the question is how this aid is going to help the people who remain in dire need to rebuild themselves after a tsunami-like flood,” he said.

Qatari aid to Libya
Qatari aid loaded onto a cargo plane arrives in Libya [Osama Javaid/Al Jazeera]

International aid continues to arrive in Libya after Storm Daniel wreaked havoc on Derna and nearby coastal cities in eastern Libya on the night of September 10 and after two ageing, neglected dams broke.

Officials have given widely varying death tolls. The World Health Organization has confirmed 3,922 deaths while others have estimated the number of dead at more than 11,300. Thousands more people remain missing and are feared dead.

The Libyan Red Crescent said there is still a need for specialised teams and equipment as a large part of Derna reeks of death.

“We do need some more technical things and mapping for how to collect the bodies. … Some equipment you cannot find inside Libya,” Ziad Uthman from the Libyan Red Crescent’s disaster management team told Al Jazeera.

Authorities have cordoned off certain areas of the city over fears of contamination and the spread of disease.

Riad Qandeel from the Qatar Red Crescent said the team is prepared for the situation.

An aircraft carrying Qatari aid to Libya
An aircraft carrying Qatari aid arrives in Libya [Osama Javaid/Al Jazeera]

The deadly floods have united Libya’s two rival governments to a certain extent in a country that has remained fractured since the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. The internationally recognised Government of National Unity sits in the capital, Tripoli, in the west, and another administration operates in the east.

In recent days, Derna’s residents held angry protests on mud-caked streets and set the mayor’s house on fire as they accused authorities of failing to maintain the dams that burst and not evacuating residents before the powerful storm.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Thursday that at least 43,059 people have been displaced by the floods.

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