North Africa in Mourning: Libya and Morocco (Flooding and Earthquake)
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
The recent tragic events in Libya and Morocco concerning the horrendous flooding of Derna in Libya and the brutal earthquake that hit the Al Haouz region of Morocco continue to unearth more deaths.
Libya and Morocco belong to North Africa – with Libya blighted by internal divisions.
In Morocco, the death toll is approximately 3,000. While in Libya, the death toll is currently 11,300 -according to the Red Crescent. However, the official numbers won’t be known for some time – with many people still missing.
The BBC reports, “Estimates of the number of dead vary. Libya’s ambassador to the UN says about 6,000 people are confirmed to have died with thousands more missing. A Red Crescent official in Libya said about 10,000 people were believed killed. Derna’s mayor has warned that 20,000 people may have lost their lives.”
The head of the World Meteorological Organization (Petteri Taalashe) said the crisis in Libya could have been prevented.
Petteri Taalashe said: “They could have issued warnings. The emergency management authorities would have been able to carry out evacuation of the people. And we could have avoided most of the human casualties.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “It is worth mentioning the recent abject failure in Hawaii (America) that led to many people dying.”
In Morocco, in little villages like Tenzirt and Tafegheghte – and many others – whole communities are in mourning and complete shock.
Sadly, similar to other earthquake tragedies – the poor have been hit the hardest. This concerns the materials of their homes and other factors related to the infrastructure.
Arab News reports, “In Morocco’s Al-Haouz province, isolated farming communities have been left cut off, with many fending entirely for themselves. It was the North African country’s deadliest earthquake since 1960 and its most powerful in more than a century.”
Political divisions in Libya and the ensuing conflict entail a declining infrastructure.
The Guardian reports, “The collapse of the two dams on Wadi Derna underscored the weakness of Libya’s infrastructure after more than a decade of chaos. The oil-rich nation remains divided between two rival administrations: one in the east and one in the west, each backed by different militias and foreign governments.”
The Health Minister of Libya (Othman Abduljalil) recently said, “The situation was catastrophic… The bodies are still lying in many places.”
Derna looks like a tsunami hit this part of Libya – while entire villages and hamlets in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco have been destroyed.
Vast numbers of people in Libya and Morocco have lost loved ones and had their homes and livelihoods destroyed within days of each other.
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