UN envoy to Libya: Magnitude of Derna disaster “heart-wrenching”

The United Nations (UN) envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, said he left Derna Saturday – after a brief visit – with a heavy heart after witnessing the devastation caused by the floods on lives and properties.

“It is truly heart-wrenching. I saw firsthand the magnitude of the disaster. This crisis is beyond Libya’s capacity to manage, it goes beyond politics and borders.” Bathily said on X platform.

Storm Daniel hit eastern coastal cities, especially Derna, Al-Bayda and Al-Marj, on Saturday. Two dams collapsed in Derna valley, washing away entire neighborhoods and killing entire families. The flood torrent obliterated around a quarter or the Mediterranean city of Derna.

Bathily also indicated that the UN was actively collaborating with local authorities and aid agencies on the ground providing aid to those in need.

“Simultaneously, our team is also conducting further assessment of the situation to enhance coordination of the response efforts in Derna and other affected areas.” He said.

As efforts to help the city are underway, the Libyan Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, has announced the initiation of investigations into the bursting of two dams in Derna, eastern Libya, to unveil the reasons that could have been triggered by “corruption and negligence.”

Meanwhile, the Head of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohammed Menfi, chaired Saturday an emergency meeting along with the Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, as well as a number of ministers who were part of the government’s emergency team, saying that unified institutions were needed to contain the crisis in Derna.

Speaking at the meeting, Menfi told the emergency team that the revival of Derna would take down-to-earth solutions, including fighting corruption, disallowing any party to take advantage of the crisis, obstruct the delivery of aids or even to seize them for their own benefit.


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