Tripoli, Libya – (African Boulevard News) – More than a week after a tsunami-scale flash flood tore through the coastal city of Derna, leaving entire neighborhoods in ruins, Mahmud Erqiq clings to hope as he endures an unbearable wait to learn the fate of his missing relatives.
The devastating flood, triggered by torrential rainfall, has caused widespread destruction and left many families desperate for news of their loved ones. Erqiq, like countless others, finds himself caught in a harrowing limbo, unsure of whether his family members are alive or lost forever.
“I haven’t slept since that dreadful night,” Erqiq says, his voice filled with anguish. “Every moment feels like an eternity as I wait for any news, any sign that my family is safe.”
The absence of an effective communication system has compounded the agony for survivors. With power lines and cellular networks severely damaged by the flood, families are unable to reach out to their missing loved ones or receive updates on their search and rescue efforts.
“Imagine the pain of not knowing whether your loved ones are alive or dead, and then add to it the frustration of not being able to communicate or get any information,” says Sara Ahmed, a spokesperson for the Libyan Red Crescent Society. “The waiting is unbearable, and it’s taking a toll on the mental and emotional wellbeing of the survivors.”
Rescue teams and humanitarian organizations are working tirelessly to locate survivors and provide assistance. However, the scale of the disaster and the logistical challenges it presents have slowed down the search and rescue efforts.
“The flood has left us with a monumental task,” says Ahmed. “Our teams are working around the clock to reach affected areas, but the magnitude of the destruction, coupled with the lack of resources, makes it an incredibly difficult process.”
While the focus remains on rescue operations, efforts are also being made to restore basic communication infrastructure. International aid organizations are collaborating with local authorities to repair damaged power lines and establish temporary communication centers to facilitate the reunification of families and relay vital information.
As the days stretch on, Erqiq and countless other flood survivors cling to hope, eagerly anticipating news from the frontlines. They find solace in the courage and determination of the search and rescue teams, knowing that every effort is being made to bring closure to their agonizing wait.
The wait for missing relatives is an unbearable burden that no one should have to endure. As the recovery and rebuilding process begins in Derna, the priority must be placed on reestablishing communication networks to alleviate the immense suffering of the survivors and provide them with the much-needed reassurance that their loved ones are safe.