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More than 5,000 people are presumed dead and at least 10,000 are missing after Storm Daniel caused two dams to collapse in northeastern Libya, in what observers have described as one of the deadliest storms in North Africa, CNN reported.

Libya’s weather agency said the storm reached a peak in the country’s northeast earlier this week, with strong winds of up to 50 miles per hour. The storm hit a number of cities in that region, with the eastern city of Derna suffering the worst destruction, according to authorities.

Officials said entire neighborhoods were flooded in Derna following the collapse of the two dams. The city’s phone lines were also down, which is making rescue efforts much more difficult, they noted.

A number of nations are planning to send aid, including rescue teams, to the North African country.

There are concerns that rescue efforts will be hampered by Libya’s ongoing political crisis that has seen the countries split into two rival administrations, as well as sporadic fighting.

The United Nations-backed Government of National Unity, led by Prime Minister Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, is headquartered in Tripoli in northwest Libya, while its eastern rival is controlled by commander Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army, which supports the eastern-based parliament led by rival prime minister, Osama Hamad.

Derna falls under Haftar’s government.

The storm is a result of an intense low-pressure system that caused severe flooding in Greece last week and subsequently moved into the Mediterranean, where it transformed into a tropical cyclone-like storm known as a “medicane.”

This storm is the latest of a series of deadly and record-breaking climate events, ranging from destructive wildfires to unparalleled heatwaves, the news outlet said. This summer has been confirmed as the hottest on record globally, with experts cautioning that 2024 is expected to bring even higher temperatures.

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