Floods hit North Africa

Heavy rain floods the Libyan capital, blocking roads, causing power cuts and damaging several homes.

Floods hit the Libyan capital, Tripoli, blocking roads, causing power cuts and damaging several homes. [EPA]

Torrential downpours across the western and central Mediterranean have left parts of Tunisia and Libya under water. The bad weather has caused widespread disruption from Tripoli to Tunis and beyond.

A slow moving area of low pressure, located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Sicily and Sardinia has been responsible for the unsettled weather. This is a region that has been plagued by thundery downpours for some time now.

Just two weeks ago, a deadly rainstorm left at least 18 dead and several missing in Sardinia. This latest deluge has come across a similar region.

The tiny island of Ustica, located just to the north of Sardinia had 104mm of rain on Sunday. Meanwhile, Pescara on the coast of the Adriatic had 113mm of rain in the same time period.

Kelibia in Tunisia had over half their December average rainfall with 34mm of rain in 24 hours. Northwestern Libya had even heavier downpours, Yefren with 59mm of rain.

The capital city of Tripoli was even wetter with 69mm of rain. The November average rainfall is 66mm, compared to 94mm for December.

The weekend’s floodwaters are now receding, but residents are still clearing up and many homes remain without power. The city’s sanitation services are also working to clear the drainage system as some roads are still impassable.

High pressure dominates the weather across central and northern Europe at the moment, and thundery showers are likely to remain across southern parts of the continent for much of this week.

Source: Al Jazeera