LIBYA - Another Catastrophe After Gaddafi

Arno Froese

It started with a bang at 3 a.m. as the residents of Derna were sleeping. One dam burst, then a second, sending a huge wave of water gushing down through the mountains towards the coastal Libyan city, killing thousands as entire neighborhoods were swept into the sea.

Buildings, homes and infrastructure were “wiped out” when a 7-meter (23-foot) wave hit the city, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which said that dead bodies were now washing back up on shore. 

After sweeping Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, with severe flooding that killed more than 20 people, it formed into a “medicane” over the Mediterranean—a relatively rare type of storm with similar characteristics to hurricanes and typhoons. 

The medicane strengthened as it crossed the unusually warm waters of the Mediterranean before dumping torrential rain on Libya. 

The two dams that burst were built around half a century ago, between 1973 and 1977, by a Yugoslav construction company. The Derna dam is 75 meters (246 feet) high with a storage capacity of 18 million cubic meters (4.76 billion gallons). The second dam, Mansour, is 45 meters (148 feet) high with a capacity of 1.5 million cubic meters (396 million gallons). 

Those dams haven’t undergone maintenance since 2002, the city’s deputy mayor Ahmed Madroud told Al Jazeera

The risk climate-fueled extreme weather poses to infrastructure—not just dams, but everything from buildings to water supplies—is a global one. “We’re not ready for the extreme events coming towards us,” said Hannah Cloke, professor of hydrology at the University of Reading in the UK., 16 September 2023

Arno's Commentary

It was on 24 December 1951 when the country declared as the United Kingdom of Libya under its only king, Idris. A Google search reveals, “Libya appears in Egyptian sources as tA-TmHw ‘land of Tjemehu.’ The inhabitants (or another people in the area?) were called Tehenu (THnw). Libya has its place in the ancient Egyptian worldview as the representation of the West (South—Nubia; North—Asia).” Regarding its biblical origin: “The name Put (or Phut) is used in the Bible for Ancient Libya, but a few scholars proposed the Land of Punt known from Ancient Egyptian annals.”

While under the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi, the country became the fifth-richest African country. However, the blatant mistakes of the leader and the government drove it into isolation and finally civil war, which ended in significant destruction of the country of Libya.

More catastrophe resulting from Storm Daniel: “…also known as Cyclone Daniel, was the deadliest and costliest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone ever recorded in history. It was also the deadliest weather event of 2023 to date.” We note the words, “deadliest weather event of 2023.” Libya has and does often experience natural disasters threatening its population. 

While Jewish communities called Libya home for thousands of years, reports, “not a single Jew remains in Libya today.”

Our concern, based on a Christian worldview, is the Church of Jesus Christ, which is also present among the 7.2 million citizens of the country. While Google reports that 96.2% of the population is Muslim, there is always the unacknowledged, hidden group of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are fulfilling the words Jesus spoke without referring to borders, nations, continents, cultures, or languages: “I will build my church.” Pray for Libya.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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