Photos from the Devastating Explosion in Beirut: What to Know & How You Can Help
A massive explosion hit central Beirut, Lebanon on Aug. 4, leaving at least 135 people dead and at least 5,000 more injured
In the midst of fighting a pandemic, economic and political unrest and facing a potential famine, Lebanon was rocked by a massive explosion in the capital city of Beirut on Aug. 4.
The explosion hit Beirut's seaport and was reportedly felt 150 miles away. The blast caused extensive damage, destroying buildings, malls and entire blocks of the city.
According to the AP, the blast killed at least 135 people, burying many under the rubble and wounding thousands.
International aid is heading to the capital city as countries lend military personnel.
While the exact cause of the blast remains unclear, Abbas Ibrahim, head of Lebanon's intelligence agency, said the explosion may have come after highly explosive material confiscated from a ship and stored in a warehouse in Beirut's port detonated following a fire, according to the AP.
In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Hassan Diab spoke of a "dangerous warehouse" that had been in existence for six years, the BBC reported.
Prior to the blast, Lebanon was already facing political and civil unrest.
Since October 2019, Lebanese people have been organizing and demanding change as they face high unemployment, a lack a resources, electoral fraud and the third highest inflation rate in the world.
There are also fears that the country will repeat the 1915-1918 famine. A third of the population is reported to be living below the poverty line, and as inflation increases and the prices of goods rises, the threat worsens. This could also mean an uptick of COVID-19 cases, as the disease is known to disproportionately affect people who are immunocompromised.
According to The Sun, Lebanese health minister Hamad Hasan said "I have never in my life seen a disaster this big." As a result of the blast and damages — which reached up to six miles away — a quarter of a million people are left homeless.
The effects of the explosion can be seen in photos taken in the aftermath.
A wounded man waits to received help outside a hospital following the explosion in Beirut on Aug. 4.
A woman looks out of the collapsed facade of an apartment, damaged by the explosion, on Aug. 5.
A man walks through debris on a residential street, completely ravaged by the explosion, on Aug. 5.
Planet Labs, Inc., the site of the deadly blast responsible for the deaths of at least 135 and thousands more injuries, is seen following the disaster.
A migrant worker reacts in shock following the explosion on Aug. 4.
People search through the rubble of buildings and cars following the massive blast.
People work together to transport the injured to hospitals following the blast.
A woman helps an injured man walk to St. George's Hospital in Beirut, though the hospital was overflowing with patients and unable to treat him.
Hospitals in Beirut were already facing massive layoffs as a result of economic instability amid the coronavirus pandemic.
People run through the streets of Beirut, which are covered in rubble from the explosion, on Aug. 4.
Lebanese soldiers search for survivors in the rubble following the massive explosion.
A rescue worker checks a wounded man near the scene of the explosion on Aug. 4.
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