Communications went down, some journalists were pushed out and a UN aid team was blocked from the flood-hit city of Derna on Tuesday, as the authorities sought to contain public anger over the failure to prevent Libya’s worst ever natural disaster.
A week after a flood wiped out much of the centre of the city, furious Derna residents demonstrated on the streets and torched the home of the mayor overnight. They accuse the authorities of failing to maintain the dams that protected the city, and failing to evacuate residents before the storm.
By Tuesday morning, the situation was again calm, but internet and phone links were down. The regional administration said it had suspended the mayor and fired the entire city council.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said search and rescue teams, emergency workers and UN staff already inside Derna were still operating, …