150 killed in Libya floods after rainstorm- official

At least 150 people have been killed in freak floods in eastern Libya as a result of storm Daniel which has swept the Mediterranean, an official said on Monday.

Images captured by residents of the disaster area showed massive mudslides, collapsed buildings and entire neighbourhoods submerged under water.

“At least 150 people were killed as a result of flooding and torrential rains left by storm Daniel in Derna, the Jabal al-Akhdar region and the suburbs of Al-Marj,” Mohamed Massoud, a spokesman for the Benghazi-based administration in Libya.

“This is besides the massive material damage that struck public and private properties,” he added.

He said the prime minister of the east-based government, Oussama Hamad, and the head of a rescue committee as well as other ministers had travelled to Derna to evaluate the extent of the damage.

Hamad’s government, which rivals a UN-brokered, internationally recognised transitional administration in Tripoli on Monday declared Derna a “disaster area”.

Experts have described storm Daniel which also struck parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria in recent days, killing at least 27 people as “extreme in terms of the amount of water falling in a space of 24 hours”.

The storm struck eastern Libya on Sunday afternoon, notably the coastal town of Jabal al-Akhdar but also Benghazi, where a curfew was declared and schools closed for several days.

Rescue teams were also deployed in Derna, 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of the capital Tripoli.

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