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Storm Daniel

Major Mediterranean storm kills at least 25 in eastern Libya

Major Mediterranean storm kills at least 25 in eastern Libya
Flooded homes and buildings following heavy rain in Palamas in Karditsa region, Greece, on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. After suffering deadly wildfires over the summer, Greece was hit by Storm Daniel this week. Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BENGHAZHI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - A major Mediterranean storm swept through eastern Libya on Sunday and Monday, killing at least 25 people and damaging homes and roads, medical sources said.

Seven members of the Libyan National Army were missing, LNA spokesman Ahmad Mesmari said.

Footage on social media showed people stranded on the roofs of their vehicles while trying get help in heavy floods as Storm Daniel hit the cities of Benghazi, Sousse, Al Bayda, Al-Marj and Derna.

“We were asleep, and when we woke up, we found water besieging the house. We are inside and trying to get out,” Derna resident Ahmed Mohamed told Reuters by phone on Monday.

Search and rescue operations were ongoing, witnesses said.Authorities declared a state of extreme emergency, closing schools and stores and imposing a curfew.

Four major oil ports in Libya, Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, Brega and Es Sidra, were closed from Saturday evening for three days, two oil engineers told Reuters.

The prime minister of the interim government in Tripoli, Abdulhamid Dbeiba, said on Sunday he had directed all state agencies to “immediately deal” with the damage and floods in eastern cities.

The United Nations in Libya said it was following the storm closely and would “provide urgent relief assistance in support of response efforts at local and national levels”.

(Reporting by Ayman Werfali in Benghazi and Ahmed Elumami in Tripli, Writing by Tarek Amara in Tunis, Editing by Nick Macfie)

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