Written by Karisma “Riss B.”
*This article was written on Tuesday August 4, 2020 and is reflective of the information available at that time
On August 4, 2020, the people of Beirut, Lebanon experienced a tragic accident this week involving an explosion, killing154 people and injuring 5,000 people.
The explosion affected over half of the city and sent shockwaves around the world. But the second blast following the explosion, blew out windows and doors all over town, filling the streets with dazed and confused. Over 100 citizens are now homeless after the accident.
The explosion has led to fears of shortages of food and medicine. Many people feared it was the U.S who did caused it. The U.S officials quickly came out with a statement saying “they didn’t send an attack out on Lebanon.”
Late Thursday, grief turned to fury. Lebanese citizens went from cleaning up the garbage off the streets to vent their fury with chanting and yelling “We want the fall of the regime”, a popular slogan used during a mass protest last year. As anger boiled over at the ruling elite, protests broke out around the Lebanese parliament building. Demonstrators set fires and jumped onto cars to throw stones. Police responded by firing tear gas at the protesters, like we have seen many times before.
Beirut has had more than its share of trauma. Rene Mouawad, the president who was expected to reunite Lebanon at the end of the civil war, was blown up by a huge car bomb in November 1989.
Authorities initially estimated the damage to be between $3-5 billion. Lebanon is a nation of more than 6 million people that imports almost all of its wheat from Ukraine, Russia and other European countries. The country is collapsing from compounded debt, budget, banking, currency and economic crisis. Lebanon is bankrupt. A third of Lebanese are jobless and half live below the poverty line. The middle class is sinking into poverty and the poor are being pushed into destitution, some of these things existed before the explosion. Lebanon is also to host an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees.
President Donald Trump and his French partner Emmanuel Macron spoke over the phone Friday about working with other countries to send immediate aid to Lebanon. The two leaders “expressed their deep sadness over the loss of life and devastation in Beirut”. France has already sent three planes filled with medical supplies and humanitarian teams.
Citizens are still trying to process everything that is going on by helping other locals around the city .