Double Tragedy Hits North Africa

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Credit - alyaoum24 -

The countries of Morocco and Libya have both suffered serious natural disasters within a few days of each other. The death toll is in the several thousands for each country.

On September 8, a violent earthquake struck Morrocco near the city of Marrakesh. The initial shock killed the bulk of the victims but the aftermath is also responsable for many dead. Al Jazeera reports:

Morocco is reeling in the aftermath of an earthquake that has killed more than 2,600 people. The survivors, who are being pulled from the dust and rubble, are in critical need of shelter, food and medical assistance.

But one critical priority stands out among the rest: to keep earthquake survivors alive, they need access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation services.

Only a few days later, a dam in Libya collapsed following torrential storms. The city of Derna, on the Eastern side of the country, is reportedly empty as survivors have fled. CNN reports:

Around 2,000 people have died and thousands more are missing after Storm Daniel dumped so much rain on Libya’s northeast that two dams collapsed sending water flowing into already inundated areas.

Othman Abduljalil, health minister in Libya’s eastern parliament-backed government, toured the worst-hit city of Derna on Monday, describing parts of it as a “ghost town.”

Both countries have different capabilities to respond to these crises. Morocco is an established monarchy, with hundreds of years of nationhood that make responses relatively easy. Libya, on the other hand, is suffering from a civil war between two major factions, which make any state support for citizens difficult.

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