UNESCO mission in Libya to inspect damaged heritage sites
October 10, 2023 / 9:19 AM
Sharjah24 - AFP: On Monday, experts from the United Nations cultural agency arrived in Libya to survey historic monuments affected by the flooding that wreaked havoc in the country's east last month.
Extreme rainfall from hurricane-strength Storm Daniel hit eastern Libya on September 10, flooding the city of Derna and other neighbouring towns and regions.
UNESCO experts are expected to visit Cyrene, a World Heritage Site that is threatened with collapse after the flooding sent water circulating around its foundations.
They will carry out "an initial survey of the flood damage and the structures in need of rapid reinforcement", according to a statement from the agency.
Other sites of rich archeological heritage in Libya will also be inspected, notably the "Ancient City of Ptolemais and The Haua Fteah Cave, both of which are on the national World Heritage Tentative List, as well as the ancient city of Apollonia".
Storm Daniel caused serious damage and created a high risk of collapse in Cyrene, one of the five cities of the Hellenic period which gave its name to Libya's eastern province, Cyrenaica.
In the framework of this mission, requested by Libya, UNESCO intends to examine how to contribute to "helping rebuild the affected areas".
Among these zones is the city of Derna, which was the worst hit by the flooding.
Much of the city was swept away into the Mediterranean, along with its inhabitants, by the massive floods caused by the collapse of two dams on a usually dry riverbed that bisects the city.
The UNESCO delegation will meet officials on Tuesday and Wednesday from the ministries of education and culture "in order to identify their needs, and decide which measures to implement most urgently".
According to the last toll given on Thursday by authorities in eastern Libya, the floods in Derna left 4,200 dead, while thousands more remain missing.