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Flooding in Libya, of All Places

Torrential rains were the cause.

If you are like me, you may have thought of Libya as a desert nation, with sun and sand dominating the landscape. However, heavy storms this past weekend swept entire neighborhoods into the sea. The city of Derna was especially hard hit by the collapse of two dams. They have already tallied thousands dead and many more missing.

What complicates any disaster response in this nation is the divided nature of the governance. Following the fall of the dictator Qaddafi, the nation was plunged into civil war. Now there are different ruling factions controlling pieces of the country.

If you think disaster response here in the United States is complicated, try it out with that type of governance (or lack thereof) structure in place.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.