Following the massive explosion in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, The Lebanon Cabinet has declared a two-week state of emergency in the city, handling control of security to the military. The massive explosion that took place yesterday sent shockwaves throughout the city, causing large-scale destruction.
What caused the explosion?
The cause of the explosion was not clear, however, the Officials told in a report that the blast was due to some 2,750 tons of confiscated ammonium nitrate that were being stored in a warehouse for the past six years at the seaport.
The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Hassan Diab revealed in a statement that “the sole reason for such a massive blast was due to the huge amount, 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse. The explosive material had been sitting there for years and that too without precautions, which resulted in taking so many lives and mighty destruction.”
The Security Chief Minister of Lebanon also supported the statement of the Prime Minister.
The catastrophic destruction resulted in:
Just like the other counties, Lebanon too was going through an economic and political downfall due to the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19. Because of the lockdown situation in the country, people were deprived of shelter, food, and basic necessities, and this massive explosion added to the hustle.
Beirut was out of power supply for a long time due to the blast and the damage caused worth 3-5 billion USD. The blast was so powerful that it could be felt more than 150 miles away in Cyprus, leaving nothing but debris and twisted metal.
Reporters told that the seaport is “completely destroyed.”
World Bank to mobilize financing for the blast recovery in Lebanon:
In such a time of crisis, The World Bank Group said that it stands ready to access Lebanon’s devastating damage and needs after Beirut port explosion and will work with the country’s partners to help and mobilize public and private financing for recovery and reconstruction.
According to the reports, The World Bank Organization said in a statement that it “would be willing to reprogram existing resources and explore additional financing to support rebuilding lives and livelihoods of people impacted by this disaster.”
UN: Support for hospitals is a top priority:
To support the ongoing trauma response in the aftermath of the massive explosion, The UN Deputy Spokesperson, Mr. Farhan Haq told the reporters that the United Nations is working very closely with the authorities of Lebanon.
“The World Health Organization is working closely with the Lebanese Ministry of Health to conduct an assessment of hospital facilities in Beirut, their functionality and needs for additional support, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic.” He told.
He further said that “Specialists are being dispatched to Beirut at the moment to assist in the emergency response, both from the United Nations and multiple Member States. Experts are en route to support urban search and rescue operations. Teams are also equipped to conduct a rapid assessment of the situation on the ground and help coordinate emergency response activities.”
Amnesty International: Explosion must be independently investigated
Amnesty International is calling for an international mechanism into Beirut’s deadly blast and also urged them to increase humanitarian aid at this time.
Acting Secretary-general of the UK Based rights group, Julie Verhaar said,
“Whatever may have caused the explosion, including the possibility of a large scale ammonium nitrate stored unsafely, Amnesty International is calling for an international mechanism to be promptly set up to investigate how this happened.”
“Amnesty International also calls on the international community to urgently increase humanitarian aid to Lebanon at a time when the country was already struggling with the severe economic crisis, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lebanon's government has blamed a large amount of poorly stored ammonium nitrate for the blast that killed scores of people and devastated swathes of Beirut.
It's not the first time the chemical has been implicated in fatal industrial explosions. https://t.co/OtNSilkUjL
— CNN (@CNN) August 6, 2020
The search for survivors is still going on:
Almost half of the Beirut city is damaged with up to 300,000 people now homeless. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors as the death toll rises to 135 with approximately 5,000 are reported injured.
“We need everything to hospitalize the victims, and there is an acute shortage of everything.” Prime Minister Hassan Daib said on Wednesday.
Raymond Tarabay from the Beirut Office at German Aid Organization told that,
“There was a huge hold on the other hospitals in the area. So all primary health care centers were asked to open the doors for injured people. And that’s what we did.”
“So we took dozens of injured people to our primary health care center and treated them with first aid and stuff like this.” He added.
#OurHomesAreOpen: Lebanese offer help to the blast victims:
Social media users have offered to help Beirut Blast victims with spare beds and shelter to victims by using the hashtag #OurHomesAreOpen in Arabic and English.
“I wanted to do something about it, I was going crazy.”
“Today, a lot more people are going to be homeless. They go to their family or friends for a day or two and then what are they going to do?” said the founder of the platform ThawraMap to the news agency.