Ghat Municipality Declared a Disaster Zone After Heavy Torrential Floods – Al Marsad

Heavy torrential rains and flooding in the municipality of Ghat causes deaths, displacement and damage to infrastructure.

[Libya, 6 June 2019] – The municipality of Ghat, southwest of Libya, witnessed torrential rains on the first day of Eid al-Fitr that caused floods that swept through the city and caused human casualties and material damage, in addition to the displacement of 518 families and the closure of many internal roads in the city, according to the Information Office of the Ghat Municipal Council.

As a result, the city was declared a disaster zone where 70% of its districts were submerged in high water levels. The Ghat Municipal Council published late Tuesday night a statement warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in some of the floods-stricken districts of Ghat as a result of torrential rain waters polluted by black water and organic waste. The situation could deteriorate into a health disaster especially with the rising water levels in those neighborhoods. The Council appealed to all Libyans and local and international organizations to provide urgent humanitarian assistance.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Libya said on Tuesday that the floods that covered much of Ghat municipality had caused human casualties and displacement of 1,000 people. According to the Libyan National Meteorological Center (LNMC), the drastic humanitarian situation is expected to further deteriorate, particularly with the continuation of heavy rainfall in most areas of the south. The LNMC predicts torrential rains will hit the South West, particularly Sabha, Ubari, Murzuq, al-Gatroun, and Ghat, accompanied by thunderstorms, which could lead to flooding some of the local valleys.

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The mayor of Ghat told al-Wasat newspaper said that the Presidential Council allocated 10 million dinars to deal with the situation of the affected municipality, pointing out that an air bridge will start Wednesday from the capital Tripoli to supply Ghat residents with humanitarian assistance.

The Ghat Municipal Council formed an emergency and follow-up committee to deal with the devastating floods, headed by Al-Taher Mohamed Ali, in cooperation with Libya’s Red Crescent, to mobilize and supervise the efforts of the city’s youth to rescue the flood-stranded households and operate water and communications utilities.

© Al Marsad English. 2019.