Death Toll Reaches 200 After Huge Port Explosion In Beirut Shatters Buildings
Published in Aug 2020 / Updated in Apr 2021
The Beirut explosion’s death toll has risen to over 220 people, Lebanese capital city’s Governor Marwan Abboud said.
Abboud added that dozens are still missing, many foreign workers, while the injuries spikes to more than 7,000.
Speaking to Al Jadeed TV, the governor said truck drivers are among the missing.
The Lebanese army has meanwhile called off rescue efforts at the port, the epicenter of the blasts.
This news came after the military reported they haven’t found any more survivors at the scene.
Beirut city has been experiencing violent protests, as police clashed with an angry mob. According to BBC reports, the government’s response to the explosion fueled the protests.
Lebanon’s Whole Cabinet Resigns in Wake of Beirut Blast Protests
On Sunday, August 9, the information and environment ministers quit, as did several lawmakers, Reuters reported.
While on August 10, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his resignation just hours after his entire Cabinet stepped down.
Diab said he is taking “a step back” to stand with the people “and fight the battle for change alongside them.”
Repeating the last phrase three times, Diab said:
“I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon.”
The blast — which injured about 7,000 people and left more than 300,000 homeless — has brought a new wave of public outrage at the government.
The resignation of cabinet ministers and MPs has failed to quell the fury amongst the citizens. The protesters have long accused the political elite of corruption, neglect, and mismanagement.
Since the explosion, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have been living in damaged homes, many without doors and windows.
Authorities estimate losses from the explosion to be between $10 billion and $15 billion.
UN agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis unless authorities deliver food and medical aid immediately.
Donors Pledge Aid for Lebanon but Want Reform
At a virtual summit on August 9, International donors and world leaders pledged about $300 million in emergency aid for Lebanon.
However, they warned they won’t provide funds for rebuilding the city until Lebanese authorities reform.
They also said the funds had to be ‘directly delivered to the Lebanese population.’
According to Lebanese authorities, the blast was the result of the detonation of 2,750 tons of confiscated ammonium nitrate.
Investigators have launched a probe to focus on how the material came to remain at the site for six years. They’ve already detained about 20 people, including Lebanon’s customs chief and his predecessor.