Libya jails officials for catastrophic dam breaks | WORLD
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Libya jails officials for catastrophic dam breaks

Rescuers and relatives of victims set up tents in front of collapsed buildings in Derna, Libya. Associated Press/Photo by Muhammad J. Elalwany

Libya jails officials for catastrophic dam breaks

The top Libyan prosecutor on Monday put at least eight current and former officials behind bars. The northern African nation experienced severe flooding earlier this month when heavy rains from Tropical Storm Daniel led to the collapse of two dams. About 4,000 people were killed and more than 9,000 remain missing. One of the detainees is the mayor of Derna, a city where the flooding was especially severe.

How did the dams get in such a bad state? The dams were built in the 1970s by a now-defunct company to help prevent flash flooding. A company was hired in 2007 to repair the dam but allegedly didn’t finish the repairs due to instability in the region. Seven of those detained were former and current officials with the Water Resources Authority and Dam Resources Authority.

Dig deeper: Read Joyce Wu’s report in World Tour about post-flood recovery in Libya.

Johanna Huebscher

Johanna Huebscher is a student at Bob Jones University and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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