The Prime Minister decrees this day of national mourning. The High Council for Defense declares a state of disaster in the capital of Lebanon.
The balance of victims due to the two powerful explosions is high. It shook the port area of the Lebanese capital, Beirut on Tuesday. It has amounted to more than 100 deaths and more than 4,000 injuries. It has been confirmed by the Government. The health minister is Hamad Hasan. He has confirmed the balance. It is reported by the Lebanese newspaper, An Nahar. In contrast, the Red Cross has published an alert asking for urgent blood donations to care for the wounded. The Beirut floor shook with the huge explosion. It shook the port of Beirut in the middle of the afternoon . The governor initially reported that a pyrotechnic warehouse suffered a fire and then exploded. With the passing of the hours, it became clear that these were not just fireworks. The Interior Ministry elaborated on what happened. He noted “highly flammable material was kept in the warehouse, including sodium nitrate. It had been confiscated “years ago” from a ship, and held.
The brutal explosion caused a huge smoke fungus and an earthquake-like tremor. It caused serious damage to all areas near the port, a true “ground zero.” It spread to the Ashrafiye and Mar Mekhayel neighborhoods of the center of the city. The scenes were reminiscent of those from the years when violence was queen in Beirut. Destruction and ambulances fly with sirens at full volume to attend to the wounded. The hospitals asked the Lebanese to come to donate blood. The rescue services multiplied by the destroyed blocks of houses to try to rescue the neighbors.
Among the wounded are some United Nations Peace Force members in Lebanon. “A result of the large explosion that shook the port of Beirut this afternoon. One of the ships of the UNIFIL maritime force docked in the port was damaged. It left some of the blue hulls injured, some of them seriously.” FINUL said so in a statement, without giving a figure. Sources close to UNIFIL confirmed to Efe that none of the Spanish blue helmet parts of this mission had been injured. About 600 Spanish military personnel are in Lebanon with UNIFIL. This force has been deployed since 2006 in the south of the country under UN Security Council resolution 1,701. It ended the war between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.
As night fell, overcrowding in medical centers forced ambulances to take victims to hospitals outside of Beirut. Given the gravity, the presidency deployed the Army to “deal with the consequences of the great explosion.” They were told to “carry out patrols in the disaster areas to maintain security.” The head of state is Michel Aoun. He also appealed to the unaffected population to open the doors and welcome those who lost their homes. It was while asking the Ministry of Health to offer free treatment to the wounded.
In turn, the news from neighboring Israel opened with the news. Defense Minister Gaby Ashkenazi told national television that they had nothing to do with it. They pointed out that “it is probably an accident.” Also, the Hezbollah Shiite militia party denied any involvement. The strong tension between the two enemies made the alarms on the explosion’s origin go off at first. Last week there was an incident on the Blue Line that divides Lebanon from Israel. Since then, troops have been on high alert. Tel Aviv then accused enemy militiamen of penetrating 20 meters into its territory to attack positions. Hezbollah denied it.
Foreign media such as the BBC also recalled that the event occurred at a delicate moment for the country. It was just before hearing the trial verdict on the murder of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. The UN court is expected to issue its verdict on the four suspects in the car bomb attack on Friday. Lebanon has suffered strong social protests for months. The economic situation is very delicate, with the national currency in free fall against the dollar. The loss of the port will be one more problem for some authorities. They are unable to cope with the crisis since it is the main gateway to the country. The peaceful and independent mobilizations of parties and sects began on October 17. It was after the government announced its intention to apply a fee to calls for Internet messaging services such as WhatsApp. It was a measure that it had to withdraw due to general anger. That was the spark that brought down the Executive of Saad Hariri two weeks later. Since then, Lebanon has been living in permanent political instability. The High Council for Defense has held an emergency meeting to address the situation. It has decided to declare a state of disaster in the city. They recommended to the Government the declaration of a state of emergency. It is as reported by the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star. Following the meeting, President Michel Aoun has called for a two-week state of emergency. He announced three days of national mourning and the release of funds to deal with the situation. It includes handing over money to hospitals and the payment of compensation.
He also stressed that an investigative committee must deliver the conclusions regarding the causes of the disaster within five days. He has announced the creation of a crisis cell to address the repercussions of what happened. It has been confirmed by the Presidency through a series of messages on Twitter. Aoun has also ordered the Ministry of Health to guarantee support to the families of the victims of the explosion. It has caused material damage to the Baabda Palace, which houses the headquarters of the Presidency.
Videos circulating on social networks show an explosion and a large column of smoke. It was before the second explosion of greater power that has caused enormous material damage in the surroundings. It could be heard in Tire and Sidon. International aid and the US State Department has stressed that it is “closely following” the information. They are “working closely with local authorities to determine if there are affected US citizens.” We extend our deep condolences to all those affected. We are ready to deliver all possible aid,” said a spokesman for the Department. It was reported by the American television channel CNN. In addition, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has stressed something. The US Presidency “is monitoring the situation.” The Foreign Minister of Iran is Mohamad Yavad Zarif. He has stressed that “as always, Iran is fully prepared to deliver aid in any way necessary.” “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” he said. He did it through a message on his Twitter account. “Stay strong, Lebanon,” he added. It was sent along with a black heart and the country’s flag.
To the messages of condolences has been added the High Representative of the European Union for Common Foreign Policy and Security, Josep Borrell. He has shown the “full solidarity” of the bloc with Lebanon after the “explosions” in Beirut. The President of France is Emmanuel Macron. He has conveyed to the Lebanese population “his brotherly solidarity.” «France is next to Lebanon. Always. French aid and media are on the way to the area, “he stressed.
Watch the Viral Twitter Video below …
A lot of reports that the explosion just now in #Beirut #Lebanon, was from fireworks depot. My initial thoughts past intelligence and secondary blast, is entirely possible this was weapons. It’s probably Hezbollah. It’s based on nature of explosion and the storage facility. pic.twitter.com/OSuIW3IxkQ
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) August 4, 2020