Lebanon: Explosion in Beirut
On 4 August a large explosion occurred in the port of Beirut. Pending investigation, the cause of the explosion has been attributed to a badly kept deposit of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in one of the port warehouses. The blast killed over 150 people and injured over 5,000. Search and rescue teams are still deployed as many are still missing. People have lost homes and businesses, including restaurants, bars, and hotels while already facing a deep economic crisis. Up to 300,000 people might have lost their homes. Local NGOs have mobilised, but systematic governmental response seems to be lacking. International Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams and a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team have been deployed. Coping capacities of population and infrastructures were already stretched due to the Syrian refugee crisis, an economic, fiscal, and financial crisis, and a recent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases.