Aftermath of catastrophic flooding in Derna, Libya •

Aftermath of catastrophic flooding in Derna, Libya

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory  features the port city of Derna on the northeastern coast of Libya, where heavy rainfall caused catastrophic flooding that killed thousands of people. 

“On September 10 and 11, over 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain fell on Derna. The city lies at the end of a long, narrow valley, called a wadi, which is dry except during the rainy season,” explained NASA.

“Floods triggered two dams along the wadi to collapse. The failure of the second dam, located just one kilometer inland of Derna, unleashed 3- to 7-meter-high floodwater that tore through the city. According to news reports, the flash floods destroyed roads and swept entire neighborhoods out to sea.”

The image was captured by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 on September 18. It shows the eroded banks of Wadi Derna, and muddy water off the coast.  

“Preliminary estimates by the United Nations Satellite Center (UNOSAT) indicate that 3,100 buildings in Derna were damaged by rushing water. According to the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), about 40,000 people in the country were displaced by the storm, and 30,000 of those were displaced from Derna,” said NASA.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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