What's happening in Lebanon right now? A bomb has gone off, injuring and killing many numbers of people, and the country is under severe distress. Let's talk about it.
On August 4th, 2020, at approximately 6 PM central time, downtown Beirut of Lebanon exploded in a plume of smoke. Just hours later, took too social media to post videos of the horrific sight of the explosion, leaving many to wonder: what happened? If you haven't seen the videos, here are just a few that have surfed on to the internet:
Many news media outlets have already reported on this tragedy. Various sources from The New York Times too CNN: World News are reporting a cause to the death and destruction:
Ammonium Nitrate. NH4NO3 or Ammonium Nitrate is a chemical compound commonly used for fertilizer, but when introduced to the right atmosphere the process of combustion can be sped up by the surrounding atmospheric pressure of oxygen.
What does that mean?
+ the surrounding, unpredictable area
+ the reportedly over 2700 metric tons of ammonium nitrate being set aflame
was already a recipe for a time bomb disaster.
Amongst that, there are now reports that the large amounts of ammonium nitrate had come from a Russian ship known as the MV Rhosus. that was destined for Mozambique but took a detour due to finances. This all occurred during 2013 and 2014.
Now just 6 to 7 years later, the ship was found resting on the docks of Lebanon's Capital and ultimately caused the terrible explosion too occur. Evidence even suggests that officials knew of the risks of leaving numerous citizens of that area unsafe and continued to leave the compound as it was and failed to do anything, and took part of the lives taken, ruined, and devastated throughout Lebanon.
We have all seen the videos, photos, or worse have been not far from the catastrophe, so just how bad was it? According to numerous sources, the impact of the explosion hit Lebanon from its starting point (Beirut) too 10+ kilometers out. The impacts were felt in seconds, but the impact will take more than just a single media sweep too help fix.
Reportedly the aftermath of the explosion has resulted in at least 137 people have died and 5,000 wounded, hundreds have been reported missing in the last couple of days, and 300,000 people and growing, have become displaced or homeless due to the destruction of the city.
Many felt that the explosion was just a hurricane at first, but in seconds that changed as throughout the city glass shattered, beds and people were thrown into disorder, buildings collapsed, and people lost their homes, got injured severely, and/or died. It gets worse in understanding the unimaginable pain these people are suffering, as amidst this catastrophe, rises the pandemic of COVID-19 as when thousands were rushed to hospitals, people were exposed to the virus in mere seconds, and hospitals became backed up.
Although officials have "declared Beirut a 'disaster city' and imposed a two-week state of emergency", the unstructured country may begin to falter as the pressures of wrestling with many conflicts socially, economically, and other pressures/dangers that citizens may also be unaware of throughout the city.
Help is on the Way!So. . . what can we do to help? To the people of Lebanon, know that we hear your suffering, and we will not sit back and watch and do nothing. To all of the people that can do something here are a few ways, you can help!!!
The following are links to relief funds and donations:
Beirut Blast Victims Relief Fund
Disaster Relief For Beirut Explosion
The British Red Cross - Beirut Emergency Appeal
The Canadian Red Cross - Lebanon Humanitarian Needs Appeal
Lebanon Children's Relief Fund
Lebanon Emergency Appeal - Donate Now
Beirut Port Explosion Relief Fund
Ways To Help - Official Card
Domestic Workers Aid
The Lebanese Red Cross
"The Lebanese Red Cross is the main provider of ambulance services in Lebanon; Our 3000 emergency medical technicians and 300+ ambulances respond to more than 140,000 emergencies and patient transports per year. Although we provide these services for free, they do have a cost! Unfortunately, due to limited funds, we are either late to or cannot respond to 1 emergency call out of 5!" Here are the links for the website too learn more and to donate:
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF)
"We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. Our teams are made up of tens of thousands of health professionals, logistic and administrative staff - most of them hired locally. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence, and neutrality." The following are the links for the website to learn more, and the donation link:
Beit El BARAKA - Food Aid, Elders & Marginalized Communities Aid
We ensure a sense of dignity to Lebanese families that have been deprived of their most basic needs and rights. Donation Link + Website Below:
Lebanese Food Bank
The Lebanese Food Bank is a non-profit (Licence #1596), non-confessional and non-partisan organization established by a group of Lebanese businessmen in 2012 and a member of the Regional Food Banking Network in Dubai. It is presently headed by Mr. Kamal Sinno and is backed by several board members. Here is the link for the website to donate:
Ahla Fawda is a Lebanese based non-profit organization focused on community development. Their humanitarian projects accept donations that help low-income communities with food, clothing, shoes, and literacy. Proceeds from festivals and events benefit our beautification and humanitarian projects. Here is the link for more information and donation sites:
Hunger-relief & food-rescue organization committed to fighting hunger & food waste in Lebanon. 👇 FEED A FAMILY IN NEED
Atfalouna Campaign - Milk & Diapers For Babies
No Child Should Go To Sleep Hungry. Help us help our babies and children First campaign: distributing milk/diapers across Lebanon (🇱🇧 🙏🏻 📞 +96181693874) Donation Link:
The following is a website for victims of the disaster that have gone missing - check it out and see if you can find anyone:
The following are links to volunteer opportunities currently in Lebanon! If you live in the area and can help consider these volunteer opportunities:
Lebanese Red Cross
Sending Letters to Congress in the United States
Globally reactions have occurred from many countries in helping Lebanon through their crisis, however, the United States has yet to respond to this tragedy! The following is a link to a template you can use to send a letter to your congress representatives. The second link gives you access to your senators, and representatives you can send this too, all just by searching the state, then clicking on their names!
Please remember, words are powerful, now is the time too make the action, and that you are helping by doing this!
Template for Emails Too Senator/House Representatives of Congress
Find your U.S. Congress Member's & Representative's Contacts
Note: Please consider donating, volunteering, and/or resharing information to help others. Even what may seem the smallest of actions to some, is actually the catalyst to something amazing.
Have faith in the rainbow after the storm.
- Keanu Reeves