Just yesterday, the Lebanese capital of Beirut was shocked by a deadly explosion, killing over 135 people, injuring more than 4,000, and leaving up to 250,000 homeless. The explosion was caused by the highly combustible material ammonium nitrate, which was stored at the city’s port. It left a devastating path of destruction in its wake.
Now, the disaster has put extra stress on nearby hospitals that were already strained due to the influx of COVID-19 patients. As people search for survivors in the wreckage, the death toll only continues to rise as new bodies are discovered amidst the debris. Investigators have now also set about searching for clues as to how 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was able to be stored at the facility for six years, and why nothing was done about it.
With over 4,000 injured and the death toll at 135 and rising, the explosion in Beirut has left the city devastated. Here is how you can help.
Citizens and officials have begun the clean-up, but with the blast able to be felt from up to 240km away, the damage is vast.
“My friend who was working at the American University of Beirut Medical Centre at the time flew out the window and landed on glass on her knees. It’s a total disaster,” said a secretary from the AUBMC, as reported by the ABC.
“Doors flew off hinges, the bathroom tiles, the toilet seats, they’ve all been blown off.”
Lebanon is now dealing with the devastating aftermath of the explosion. Yet, they’re also dealing with political unrest and riots, economic crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic. So how can you help?
The Lebanese Red Cross has declared they’ll send all ambulances to Beirut from North and South Lebanon, as well as Bekaa, in order to treat the wounded and help search operations. Contributions are able to be made here.
Nonprofit organisation Impact Lebanon has created a crowdfunding campaign to provide disaster relief, share information about missing people, and help on-site organisations. At the time of writing, almost £5 million has been donated. Also helping with efforts to locate missing people is this Instagram page, providing updates in the comments.
And finally, Baytna Baytak is a charity that has provided free housing to health care workers in the midst of the pandemic. They have now joined with Impact Lebanon to raise money to shelter those that have been displaced due to the explosion.
my heart and prayers are with Lebanon 🙏🏼♥️
— Nikita (@NikitaDragun) August 4, 2020