SRSG Bathily visits affected areas of Derna and speaks with first responders and survivors

SRSG Bathily and DSRSG Gagnon visit Derna following Storm Daniel

SRSG Bathily and DSRSG Gagnon speak to a first responder in Derna following the aftermath of Storm Daniel

Damage caused to Derna following Storm Daniel

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16 Sep 2023

SRSG Bathily visits affected areas of Derna and speaks with first responders and survivors

DERNA, 16 September – Special Representative of the Secretary General, Abdoulaye Bathily, visited Derna today to see the devastated city firsthand. 

He met with first responders and survivors who showed him the demolished neighborhoods, schools, markets and public infrastructure, and he listened to their vivid stories of the trauma they witnessed and continue to experience.  

One survivor pointed to a vast space in the valley and said, "All the houses here were swept away. For example, there was a three-story building here housing 21 people of the same family. They were all swept away by the torrents." 

Libyan first responder teams were on site working non-stop. The SRSG met a team leader who said they had been working in one of the most hard-hit neighborhoods in the city. “An entire neighborhood was demolished including houses, markets and a historic mosque dear to the people of Derna,” he said explaining that the SRSG was standing on the wreckage of the devastated area. 

"I cannot find the words to describe what has happened here," said SRSG Bathily. "It is truly heartbreaking. I saw firsthand the magnitude of the disaster. This crisis is beyond Libya's capacity to manage; it goes beyond politics and borders." 

Accompanied by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Georgette Gagnon, and senior UN officials, the SRSG also spoke with senior officials from the House of Representatives-appointed government and representatives of local authorities managing a crisis operation rooms to assess how best the UN can continue to support them. 

"The UN is actively collaborating with local authorities and aid agencies on the ground providing aid to those in need,” SRSG Bathily said adding that a UN team is currently conducting a full needs assessment of the situation to ensure the response is effective and coordinated. 

The hardest-hit areas in Derna are witnessing increased activity, including cleaning, removing wreckage, activating basic services, and reopening roads. Heavy equipment is now spread throughout the valley to support this work. More supplies and aid are flowing into Derna sent by the UN, international partners and from across Libya.