Breaking News – The Beirut Blast
On Tuesday 4th August a devastating explosion hit Lebanon in its capital city of Beirut. The shockwaves were so powerful that they could be felt over 100 miles away in Cyrpus.
One week later and here’s what we know so far:
Two blasts erupted in the capital. The second and more powerful blast was allegedly caused by unsafely stored Ammonium Nitrate (widely used in fertilizers and mining explosives, although it is not explosive on its own).
Over 150 people are confirmed dead and the death toll continues to rise as hospitals which would normally be on first response were also in blast’s vicinity.
The international community pour millions of pounds of humanitarian aid into Beirut – list of donations here.
As 2020 continues to unfold we are confronted with mortality and reminded of the fragility of life – however, if we have learned one lesson from Coronavirus it is the importance of global citizenship.
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles quickly issued a statement:
“Following the devastating explosions in Beirut on August 4, with many victims and injured, the European Union expresses its full solidarity with and support for the families of the victims, the Lebanese people and authorities. The European Union stands ready to respond to the most urgent needs of Lebanon and to provide required assistance after these grave events.”
As this story unfolds, our question is: will post-COVID-19 humanitarian aid foster an international community that bands together irrespective of boundaries and beliefs? NPN will be following this story closely.