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News > Lebanon

Lebanon: The Search for Victims Continues One Month After Blast

  • Rescue team looking for a survivor under the rubble, Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 3, 2020.

    Rescue team looking for a survivor under the rubble, Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 3, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 4 September 2020

The reconstruction tasks will take place amid a remarkable increase in the prices of construction materials and food.

After a month of the blast that destroyed the urban area around the Beirut's port, Lebanon continues to search for survivors under the rubble and remembers what happened with a minute of silence at the exact time the explosion occurred.


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On August 4, the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored in the port for six years, caused an "atomic mushroom" that could be seen for miles. The debris removal continues and the bodies continue to appear.

According to the Health Ministry's latest data, the explosion left 191 dead, 6,500 injured, three missing persons, and some 300,000 homeless.

The Lebanese Army called on the population to join in a minute of silence at 06:07 p.m. (local time) to remember the victims of the incident.

"We will do a minute in silence as a sign of mourning for the souls of the martyrs ... That will happen to coincide with the ringing of the church bells, the call for prayer in the mosques, and the suspension of the passage around the port," the Army stated.

The explosion led to the resignation of the Prime Minister Hassan Diab's government and the subsequent appointment of Prime Minister Mustapha Adib, who now has the difficult task of pulling Lebanon out of one of the worst crises in its history.

On Monday, the World Bank (WB) estimated that the explosion caused at least US$4.6 billion worth of damage. The reconstruction tasks will take place amid a serious economic crisis that has generated a remarkable increase in the prices of construction materials and food.

"Even before the explosion, 55 percent of Lebanese lived in poverty and 23 percent were in extreme poverty," Europa Press recalled, explaining that the situation is further aggravated because the Lebanese pound lost over 80 percent of its value since October 2019.

"While the minimum wage is just under US$450, the cost of replacing a window is now nearly US$500 and a door up to US$1,000. These families urgently need help to recover from this disaster and rebuild their lives," Oxfam spokesperson Bachir Ayoub told Europa Press.

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