Even as the Coronavirus pandemic has caused an irreparable damage to countries across the world, many are reeling under the pressure of worst economic crisis, grappling to contain the virus spread and and loss of life amass.
In a disturbing and horrifying event amid a worst health crisis, the city of Lebanon was rocked in a colossal explosion, preceded by massive fire at the Port of Beirut, sending in supersonic blastwaves radiating through the city.
The devastating explosion which killed at least 137 people and injured about 5,000 others were the aftermath repercussions of Lebanon’s government negligence on the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the city’s port.
Even as the explosions ripped Beirut’s port apart it wrecked and levelled the buildings leaving the Lebanese capital upturned in extensive damage, hospitals overwhelmed and casualties befallen everywhere.
HOW BIG WAS THE BLAST?
Beirut: The very heart of Lebanon has endured civil wars, conflicts and terror attacks, but the catastrophe witnessed on August 4 was the most destructive explosion seen in years which has now left Beirut unrecognisable for atleast 5 long years.
Viral videos surfacing internet revealed the terrifying aftermath of the blasts which completely obliterated the Beirut Port leaving over smoke billowing from fire, and the masking of a mushroom cloud following the blast.
The intensity of the blasts were so massive that its sound was heard as far away as Cyprus, about 200km from Beirut (125 miles) across the Mediterranean Sea leaving seismologists to regard it as an equivalent of a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.
Broken windows, shattered homes, deformed metals and blood drenched bodies laying dead with around 300,000 people left homeless, Beirut has now become the reality of an abandoned lifeless and a devastated city.
WHAT CAUSED THE BLAST?
Reports reveal that the enormous blast which rattled the Lebanese capital Beirut, was the result of criminal negligence of Lebanon’s government authorities.
In the year 2013 a Moldovan-flagged ship, the Rhosus, docked the Beirut port after suffering certain technical issues during its sail from Georgia to Mozambique, the ship was inspected, banned from leaving and then was shortly later abandoned by its owners.
The cargo of the ship contained ammonium nitrate, also known as a fertiliser and an explosive.
Reports reveal that it was stored in a port warehouse citing safety reasons and then remained there for the next six years.
Aware of the dangers the port authorities had made several requests, orders, wrote letters since 2014, asking the ammonium nitrate to be moved, to be donated to the Lebanese army or to be sold of.
Yet, for 6 years until date, their appeals were left unheard.
Beirut which now looks like a devastated war zone indeed seems an after effect of a War!
A War, A Lost War Against The Government.
Beirut Catastrophe is a negative process of lack of action from the Lebanese Government.
The Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab in his statement said that 2,750 tonnes of the agricultural fertiliser ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse had blown up, sparking “a disaster in every sense of the word”.
WHY IS LEBANON IN CRISIS?
Long before the advent of COVID-19, Lebanon was mourning for reforms, the corruption at this country is beyond measure, world reports reveal, that Lebanon is the world’s third highest indebted country.
Lebanon inhabits over 30% of people who survive below poverty line. Lebanon’s currency has lost 85% of its value in less than a year and with the pandemic striking it’s lowest blows, millions of children are going hungry igniting a Hunger Pandemic alongside the Coronavirus Pandemic in Lebanon.
Beirut stood as Lebanon’s lifeline with 80% of the country’s food grains emerging from here and with it turning to ashes, the blast may exacerbate political crisis, economic crisis, inflation, hunger crisis and a teetering future.
With the Beirut explosion causing immeasurable loss to life and property, Lebanon seems to literally be Dying.
Lebanon’s citizens have caused an uproar with Anti-Government protests, they voice to be heard, they protest for a probe, they rebel for the guilty to be charged and they hope for a profound change.
With all said and done, it perhaps seems that we only perceive and believe when things get really bad.
We act on reality as we behold it destructing our lives, the Beirut catastrophe could have been easily averted had not the negligence of the Lebanese Government prevailed. With Beirut laying down as example for all world leaders and countries to act upon, we pray and wish Lebanon to rise through this stronger and mightier.
-Caroliyn Ravi, NMTV News