The death tolls for the earthquake in Morocco and the flooding in Libya are both continuing to rise this week, surpassing 8,000 dead as the Libyan city of Derna faces unprecedented devastation and is pleading for international help.
At least 5,100 people have been recorded dead in the city of Derna, in addition to around 100 others elsewhere eastern Libya, and another 7,000 people are injured, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Up to 10,000 people are also missing, according to various reports.
The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration reported on Wednesday that 30,000 people have been displaced in Derna, in addition to thousands elsewhere.
Assessing the human toll of the flooding in Libya is difficult due to the rival administrations in the east and the capital Tripoli and communications being hindered by the storm. Around 50% of Libya also lacks internet access, according to the data analysis firm DataReportal.
Morocco’s official news agency Maghreb Arabe Press reported on Tuesday that the death toll from the earthquake reached 2,901, along with 5,530 injuries. More than half of the dead were in the central Haouz province south of Marrakesh, according to the agency
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Morocco last Friday. Its epicenter was in the High Atlas Mountains 44 miles southwest of Marrakesh, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
On Sunday, Storm Daniel hit northeast Libya, causing severe flooding in several towns on and near the Mediterranean coast. The city of Derna was most affected amid the collapse of two dams and mudslides. A quarter of the city has been destroyed due to the flooding, according to multiple reports.
Aid proves challenging: Many of the affected areas in Libya are inaccessible to rescuers and aid workers, the International Rescue Committee said on Wednesday.
“Ambulances are in need of repair, physical access challenges and needs for logistical support are making it difficult for health volunteers to reach affected areas,” said the humanitarian organization’s Libya director, Elie Abouaoun, in a press release.
On Wednesday, Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah announced that 700 “rooms” were en route to the outskirts of Derna to house displaced people and rescue teams. Dbeibah did not specify when the rooms would arrive, nor whether they were trailers or another structure.
Libya’s political situation is further complicating matters. The flooding occurred in parts of eastern Libya controlled by the administration of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, a rival to the internationally recognized government in the capital Tripoli. The two sides fought a war that ended in 2020, but Libya remains divided along the former battle lines
The two rival administrations “both grapple with the limits of power in a country with divided governance and struggle to execute the basic functions of a state,” the US Institute of Peace said in an April report
Morocco has also faced difficulties in its recovery efforts. The International Federation of Red Cross said that the terrain near the earthquake’s epicenter hindered rescue efforts.
“Due to the blocked roads and the challenging terrain, emergency services faced,” said the organization in a Tuesday report.
Know more: Aid from regional states has started arriving to both countries. Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait Tunisia and Algeria have sent assistance to Libya, include humanitarian aid and rescue teams. Several European countries and the United States have also pledged help, according to Reuters.
Morocco, on the other hand, has only allowed rescue crews from Qatar, the UAE, Spain and the United Kingdom, denying offers from Algeria, France and others.
The Moroccan Interior Ministry said that allowing aid without proper coordination would be “counterproductive,” according to The AP.