The town of Derna, in eastern Libya, was ravaged by floods on the night of September 10 to 11, 2023 following the passage of Storm Daniel. On site, a week after this tragedy which left at least 3,000 dead, an end-of-the-world scene seems to have taken hold. Reporting.
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With our special correspondent returning from Derna, Mathieu Galtier
Most striking when arriving in the port town of Derna, in Libya, it is the brown color of water. The Mediterranean has not yet finished digesting the tons of earth that were carried by the storm. The roads are invaded by aid trucks and 4x4s of Red Crescent rescuers.
In the street, children, most of them barefoot, play with each other. Adults line up in the few open stores. Most are on the lookout for the next distribution. Because the inhabitants of Derna complain of never knowing when and where they will take place.
Around them, it’s an end-of-the-world setting. Some streets no longer have homes. A father makes a fire to prepare coffee on the sidewalk. He explains that his house stood right there, pointing to a pile of concrete. However, in certain places, without really knowing why, homes are almost intact. But, inside, families have to make do without running water and frequent power cuts.
Authorities asked all journalists to leave the city
As for the police, the authorities asked all journalists to leave the city at midday. The police and soldiers also check Libyans’ cars. In order to better rationalize aid, they want to reserve access to the city for essential convoys.
It appears quite clearly that aid is arriving in Derna but that its distribution circuit is not yet completely ready.