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Catastrophic Flooding in Libya Claims Thousands of Lives, Draws Vatican's Compassion
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Tragedy has struck Libya as catastrophic flooding, resulting from multiple dam failures amid torrential downpours, has led to what officials estimate to be up to 10,000 deaths. This devastating event unfolded in the wake of Cyclone Daniel, a storm originating in the Mediterranean Sea, which wreaked havoc on the eastern regions of the North African nation.
Authorities reported that several dams broke, unleashing widespread flooding across the eastern part of Libya. Among the hardest-hit areas was the coastal city of Derna, where over 2,000 casualties were confirmed by Tuesday morning.
The situation remains dire as "dangerous weather conditions and torrential rains" continue to persist, as stated by the state-controlled Libyan News Agency. As the nation grapples with this catastrophic natural disaster, global relief efforts have been set into motion.
The Vatican, in a display of compassion and solidarity, conveyed its deep sadness and condolences to the Libyan people through a telegram. Pope Francis, in the message, expressed his profound sorrow at the immense loss of life and destruction caused by the flooding in eastern Libya. The Holy See pledged its prayers to the country as it strives to address the disaster and rescue those affected by it.
The telegram, signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, conveyed the Pope's heartfelt spiritual closeness to the injured, those anxious for their missing loved ones, and the dedicated emergency personnel engaged in rescue and relief operations. Pope Francis invoked divine blessings of consolation, strength, and perseverance upon all affected by this tragedy.
While the Vatican's message of solidarity offered solace to Libya, a global relief effort rapidly mobilized. Georgette Gagnon, the assistant secretary-general, resident, and humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations' relief mission in Libya, announced on Twitter that the emergency response team was preparing to support local authorities and partners in eastern Libya.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies also sprang into action, working tirelessly to provide aid and support to those impacted by the storm, as reported on Facebook.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of State pledged its support, stating that it was collaborating with U.N. partners and Libyan authorities to assist ongoing relief efforts in the region.
This tragedy adds to a series of recent natural disasters in the region, as just days earlier, Morocco was hit by a devastating earthquake that claimed nearly 3,000 lives by Tuesday. Relief workers in Morocco are now facing the daunting task of rescuing trapped victims and providing essential aid.
As Libya grapples with the aftermath of the catastrophic flooding, the outpouring of support from the international community and the Vatican serves as a testament to the world's collective commitment to standing with those in need during their darkest hours.
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