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'Forgive me, dad': Last words of Libya teen killed in deadly Derna floods

September 14, 2023 at 2:22 pm

People who lost their lives are covered by plastic bag after the floods caused by the Storm Daniel ravaged disaster zones in Derna, Libya on September 12, 2023 [Abdullah Mohammed Bonja – Anadolu Agency]

Deadly floods in Libya caused by a huge storm swept through the eastern Derna city, where families were left scattered or killed entirely as Storm Daniel has ravaged the region, Anadolu Agency reports.

The devastating Mediterranean storm on Sunday hit the eastern region of Libya, causing massive floods in Derna and leaving thousands dead and missing.

The floods left scores of families either entirely dead or missing, while many others lost their loved ones in front of their eyes when huge amounts of water swept them away.

In one of the countless tragic stories in the devastated city, a father, who survived the floods, narrated the last moments he had with his son before he died in muddy flood waters.

I went to take my son from his friend’s place when the floods surprisingly swept into the house

the father said in an interview with local television, Al-Masar, in a hospital in Tobruk city.

The father and his son were stranded in flood waters for more than half an hour. “Forgive me, my dad,” the son told his father, while he was stuck in the water and mud from floods. “I told him surely I forgive you …” said the father, who was mourning for his son’s death.

READ: Libyans search for families after catastrophic flood

His son, the father said, tried to exit the room but at the door his body was drifted out the room but his face remained stuck, causing his death.

He was strangled to death

the father said in tears.

With his word’s stuck in his throat, the father said his son remained in front of him “strangled and dead” till the morning.

The deceased, was studying at a university, was the sole son to the father and was loved among his friends.

The father ended his interview by bypassing his tragic incident to wish unity to his country which is divided between two governments.

May Allah unify our country from the east to the west, and may He reunite all Libyans

Libya has, for years, faced a crisis over power struggle, as the country is divided between two governments; one is internationally recognised in the western part of the country, the other is appointed by the Libyan Parliament and rules the eastern region.

Entire families perish together

According to Tareq Al-Kharaz, spokesman for the Interior Ministry of the government ruling in eastern Libya, the catastrophic floods caused death to entire families.

Speaking to Anadolu, he said Derna was the region most affected by Storm Daniel and counted the highest number of entire families being killed.

He added that the death of whole families has caused problems about their burial, since they cannot find family members or relatives to identify the death bodies.

We didn’t find anybody to identify many of the bodies, but later we decided to bury as many as we can of them after taking photos to show them to the people who have missing ones to recognise them

At least 6,000 people have been killed and thousands of others remain missing due to the weekend floods in eastern Libya, according to officials.

Torrential rains swept several regions, most notably the cities of Derna, Benghazi, Al-Bayda, Al-Marj and Soussa.

READ: Libya: flood death toll in Derna ‘may reach 20,000’