⇒ A very heavy human and material toll
The provisional toll of the double explosion that shook the Lebanese capital is 100 dead and more than 4,000 injured, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. But these figures could worsen as the emergency services search the area affected by the explosion.
The injured are treated in hospitals in the city, already weakened by the economic crisis and the outbreak of coronavirus cases. Many patients had to be transferred to Saïda, Zahlé or Chouf.
Until 300,000 people are also found homeless, estimated Thursday the governor of Beirut, who figures the damage of the disaster at more than three billion dollars.
⇒ International aid is gradually arriving on site
Three field hospitals are to be installed this Wednesday in the capital, sent by the Qatar and theIraq.
The aid promised by the France will be transported this Wednesday by three military planes with civil security personnel on board, several tons of equipment and a mobile medical station. “Three planes are leaving today for Beirut, one from Marseille (south) with teams of immediately operational medical responders, two from Roissy with equipment, 25 tons, security teams from the Ministry of the Interior, also firefighters from Marseille “, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on LCI channel. Emmanuel Macron had initially reported the dispatch of two planes from Roissy, near Paris.
We are deploying a civil security detachment and several tonnes of medical equipment in Lebanon. Emergency doctors will also reach Beirut as soon as possible to strengthen hospitals. France is already engaged.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 5, 2020
The President of the Republic will also visit Lebanon on Thursday to “Meet all the political actors” announced the Élysée at midday.
The United States have also offered their help through its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said to herself “Shocked” and promised to offer “Support for Lebanon”, just like Le United Kingdom.
L’European Union will send a hundred specialized firefighters to Beirut, announced the European commissioner in charge of crisis management Janez Lenarcic. “The Netherlands, Greece and the Czech Republic have already confirmed their participation”, said the commissioner. “Poland and Germany have also offered their help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism”, he added.
The Pope Francis invited on Twitter to pray for the victims.
Pray for the victims of the explosions in Beirut and for their loved ones; and let us pray for Lebanon, so that with the commitment of all its social, political and religious components, it can face this so tragic and painful moment.
– Pope Francis (@Pontifex_fr) August 5, 2020
Gulf countries, some of which have close relations with Lebanon, paid tribute to the victims. TheIran, very influential in the country through the Shiite Hezbollah movement, offered a “Medical aid”. same Israel called to “Overcome conflict” proposing “Humanitarian and medical aid” to his neighbor, with whom he is technically at war.
⇒ A deposit of explosive material causing the explosion
The origin of the drama was attributed to the explosion of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate (a highly explosive material that goes into the manufacture of fertilizers) stored in a shed at the port “For six years, without precautionary measures” according to Prime Minister Hassan Diab, near a fireworks depot.
“This is unacceptable, we cannot be silent” he said, promising that those responsible would have to ” accountable “.
This accident revives a painful memory in a population that has already experienced several serious bombings.
⇒ The fear of a food shortage
In addition to this human catastrophe, there is a risk of an inevitable economic catastrophe. The port area affected by the explosion is home to most of the capital’s offices and banks.
It is also at the port that the country’s wheat reserves and the majority of consumable products are stored, Lebanon imports a large majority of its foodstuffs. This is another reason for concern in this country which is already very weakened economically and which has faced serious food shortages since the start of the political and social crisis.