Explosion in Beirut: Whatever the cause, it went straight to the heart

First few words from our Regional Director, Dirk Kunze
Explosion in Beirut
© Picture Courtesy: Yara Asmar, Regional Project Manager, FNF MENA

We all learned yesterday afternoon of the huge explosion at the port of Beirut in Lebanon which killed and injured many people. The shockwaves of this massive blast were felt across the Lebanese capital, shattering glass in people’s homes and causing apartment balconies to collapse - even far away from the explosion site.

Beirut is standing at its shattered existence, visible by the many piles of broken glass. But this event is more than that. The whole country is hit. August 4, 2020 will be remembered as the day when an already suffering but proud country was pushed into a sheer unbelievable situation. Decades of mismanagement, political chaos and the effects of the Corona pandemic have led to an unprecedented economic meltdown of the country. Lebanon is insolvent since March, the currency is in free fall, the population impoverished and now it has to suffer even more.

There are official first statements which explain that the explosion is the result of mismanagement of seized goods in the harbor. However, tensions were already high because of the expected verdict on the 2005 murder of former Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri by the UN-backed tribunal on Friday. Given the already fragile situation in the region and especially with its neighbors Syria and Israel, many other stories, explanations and reports are circulating. As the situation unfolds, we will be following all resources and update you through our social media channels @fnfmena, please also follow @fnflebanon, @dirkunze, @kristofkleeman and @yaraasmarleb on Twitter for more developments.

FNF Lebanon and Syria after the explosions
This is the picture of the office of the FNF Lebanon and Syria after the explosions. © Picture Courtesy: Kristof Kleeman, Project Director, FNF Lebanon and Syria.