The devastating explosion that occurred in Beirut, Lebanon on the 4th of August, 2020 shocked the entire world. Amid a raging pandemic and threats of an economic crisis, this worsened matters. Half of the city was destroyed with numerous lives and businesses lost.
Many disturbing images and videos of the incident surfaced after the blast. We will be sharing a couple of them with you.
The Explosion That Shook Beirut
There was numerous footage of the explosion on Twitter. It appeared to have occurred around the Beirut port. A day later, it was confirmed that the blast was caused by ammonium nitrate “left unsecured in a warehouse.”
Prime Minister Hassan Diab confirmed that 2,700 tons of ammonium were stored in a warehouse in the area. These were the genesis of the explosion.
For over 6 years, these have been stored near the port and were used to make fertilizers and explosives. There seemed to have been no cause for worry as such an incident had never occurred before.
Lebanon’s General Security Chief, Abbas Ibrahim, attested to the fact that some of the substances were confiscated and stored at the warehouse prior to the incident.
The Far-reaching Effects Of The Blast
The blast left Beirut utterly devastated. It was felt in other countries within a 100km radius. Some reports claim that it was heard even in Cyprus in Europe.
Many countries across the world offered Lebanon a helping hand during those trying times, from Canada and the United Kingdom to Greece and Denmark. The Czech Republic promised to send in 37 rescuers with sniffer dogs.
The French Prime Minister, Emmanuel Macron, showed empathy for Lebanon and its citizens. In a tweet he posted after the incident, he mentioned that France was ready to and in the process of sending relief supplies to Lebanon. In his exact words:
“I express my fraternal solidarity with the Lebanese after the explosion which claimed so many victims and damages this evening in Beirut. France stands alongside Lebanon. Always. French aid and resources are being transported on the spot.”
A Difficult Time For Beirut
It was such an inauspicious time for such an incident to take place. The country as with every other country in the world was in the middle of battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, its currency dropped over 70% in value, putting the country on the verge of a major economic collapse.
Supplies and funding were hard to distribute because of restrictions enforced to curb the spread of the virus. This put a lot of pressure on the government as well as the citizens.
With over half of the city damaged, houses, businesses, the port, and vehicles, repairs will cost a lot. An estimated 5 billion dollars might be spent on damage repairs.
Extensive Damage Caused
Many buildings that were far away from the port also experienced extensive damage. The blast left many homes and establishments without entrances and with completely shattered windows.
There are numerous videos of the gory incident online. They are pretty difficult to watch. If you can, Here is one:
There is another video showing how the blast disrupted a church service. The priest was leading service when the lights started flickering with an accompanying loud rumble. The entire church dispersed with everyone including the priest running for their lives as the blast tore through the building.
With hundreds dead and thousands injured, it truly is an unforgettable incident. It has been branded as one of the most powerful artificial non-nuclear explosions in history.
Emergency services worked tirelessly, round the clock, trying to recover people from the rubble. Although many were found alive with injuries, some succumbed to their injuries.
The Lebanese Red Cross along with other charity organizations worked to save and care for as many survivors as they could.
According to Reuters, another challenge the country faced was the possibility of food shortage.
The president of the country stated that they had only one month’s worth of grain left. This was disturbing as the after-effects of the incident threatened to last much longer than that.
Lebanon Needed and Still Needs The World
A lot of people raised awareness about the condition of the country on Twitter. They also promoted links for donating to the fine course of relief.
Those who cannot support materially, support with prayers. The work though is far from finished. People still need health services and cash. Many are still without homes.
Volunteers are shaken to the bone even if they project an image that says “we have it under control.”
Lebanon is still receiving donations to provide monetary assistance to affected families. Although it is not enough to adequately provide for all affected, it is appreciated. Also, they are doing their utmost to manage these resources.