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The Lebanese are afraid of further unrest

Tragedy in Beirut:

Karolína Lišková
07.Aug 2020
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2 minutes
Bejrút po katastrofě

The whole world is anxiously following the development of the situation in Beirut after Tuesday's massive explosion. Reader of Kristýna K., who has Lebanese roots, awaits new information with even more horror in her eyes. According to her family, who live in the capital of Lebanon, the locals fear the worst - a civil war.

When something terrible happens somewhere outside of our borders, do you also tell yourselves: "Good thing it's so far away,"? But what if you had family in that distant country? Watching the news report about the terrifying explosion, hundreds of dead and thousands wounded, Kristýna was in utter shock. She was terribly worried about her family.

"Dad called me, he was in town when it happened. He saw the explosion from the balcony of some house. Thank God, he and the others are fine,"

Luxusní vila na prodej, Dolní Měcholupy - 616m
Luxusní vila na prodej, Dolní Měcholupy - 616m, Praha 10

the half-Czech told, adding that her father had experienced a civil war and, according to his words, this explosion was bigger than any he recalls.

Luxusní vila na prodej, Dolní Měcholupy - 616m
Luxusní vila na prodej, Dolní Měcholupy - 616m, Praha 10

Open in gallery (2)
Lidé sledovali výbuchy z balkónů.
Lidé sledovali výbuchy z balkónů.Source:

The protests will never stop

Lebanon has been facing problems for a long time already. The people are dissatisfied with the government and demand the resignation of the elites in power, claiming a chance at a better life. Massive protests have been going on since September.

"People in Lebanon are really upset and desperate. The last straw was when the government wanted to tax the communication application WhatsApp. And then corona hit them..."

Kristýna explains, adding that the coronavirus pandemic gave the country a fatal blow. Everything closed, the economy saw a steep drop-off, the poor became even poorer... With the onset of summer and the easing of restrictions, the locals had a glimpse of hope everything could turn for the better, but this disaster stroke.

"My relatives think it will turn into a war. It was simply too much for those people..."

said the young woman.

Open in gallery (2)
Bejrút zažil občanskou válku.
Bejrút zažil občanskou válku.Source:

No one will help the poor

According to the reader, the explosion is a real disaster for everyone who lives in the area. Along the coastline, everything is razed to the ground, people have lost their homes, their businesses, cars, roads... Her own father has been out of work for eight months due to the pandemic and he won't be working now either, because his job has simply disappeared. Although everyone hopes that the rest of the world will help the Lebanese, Kristýna doesn't believe that the money will go to those who need it most.

"No one will take care of the poor. It's not like here over there. The infrastructure is much worse, there's insurance, everything is paid in cash. My heart hurts when I think of the fate that awaits those people."

She doesn't know when she'll see her family

Kristýna wanted to visit her family in Lebanon for a long time. But she never had a chance to due to pregnancy, and then coronavirus.

"My husband and I wanted to go and show them our two children... We hope that it works out next year."

What happened in Beirut

On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, around 6:00 p.m. local time, a large depot with potentially explosive substances exploded in Beirut's main port area. It was ammonium nitrate in the amount of 2,750 tons. This chemical, imported from Georgia, has been stored there uncontrollably and unprofessionally since 2013. There were two sudden detonations. The second, larger explosion created a cloud of fire, which grew into a mushroom cloud that rolled over the city. Then came a very strong pressure wave, which destroyed the whole area, including the port itself. Many houses in the city were significantly damaged or completely destroyed; windows and doors have been knocked out even at a distance of 10 or more kilometers. The explosion could be heard as far as in Nicosia, Cyprus, which is 240 kilometers away.The force of the shock was estimated at 3.3 on the Richter scale. 135 people were killed and about 4,000 injured. More people are still missing.

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