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  • A view of the destroyed port in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, August 5, 2020.

    A view of the destroyed port in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, August 5, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 5 August 2020
Opinion

This disaster was a consequence of the explosion of over 2,500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse.

The Assistant Director for Crisis Management at Red Cross Lebanon Rodney Eid confirmed that at least 100 people were killed, over 4,000 people were injured, and hundreds of people gone missing after the explosion that affected the Beirut’s port area on Tuesday.

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Lebanon Explosion: At Least 78 Dead and 4000 Injured in Beirut

This disaster occurred as a consequence of the explosion of over 2,500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse. Some hospitals were heavily damaged by the blast and are overcrowded with patients, including those with COVID-19.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) spokesperson Gill Tudor confirmed that the huge detonation was registered by its International Surveillance System (SIV), which is a worldwide network of seismological, hydroacoustic, and infrasonic surveillance facilities.

The explosion will have significant economic consequences as the destruction of Lebanon's main port will make food supply difficult.

This circumstance will exacerbate hyperinflation in the country, which has also been experiencing its worst economic crisis since the end of the civil war (1975-1990).

Prime Minister Hassan Diab asked for help from all countries and said that the Lebanese are "dealing with a real catastrophe" that leaves ruined streets, buildings, and squares throughout the city.

The Netherlands’s Development Cooperation Minister Sigrid Kaag confirmed that her country sent a team of 67 humanitarian aid specialists, which includes doctors and nurses, to help search for survivors.

France sent two aircraft carrying 55 people, 15 tons of material, and a mobile health unit. Russia sent five planes with doctors, rescuers and health teams that will be equipped with a mobile laboratory to test for coronavirus on site.

The Czech Republic sent 37 specialists from its urban rescue and tracking unit, and Greece sent twelve rescuers, a tracking dog, two vehicles, and equipment.

The European Union (EU) showed its solidarity with the Lebanese people and declared itself prepared to give its help to the country through the High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell and the European Council President Charles Michel

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