After an explosion struck the country in a wave of destruction, Lebanon needs your help.
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During the middle of a gross world pandemic, Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is facing an even bigger disaster. On Tuesday evening an enormous explosion engulfed Beirut in massive destruction, resulting in at least 100 deaths, more than 4,000 with injuries and an immeasurable homeless.
Videos of the incident depict a mushroom of smoke rising and shaking the surrounding areas. Buildings were shattered, windows were blown through and now Lebanon is left with less than a month’s worth of grain reserves after the country’s main grain silo in Beirut port was destroyed. By early Wednesday morning, fires continued to burn as rescue workers dug through rubble in search of survivors and missing people.
According to Lebanon’s prime minister Hassan Diab, the explosion was caused by 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that were stored in a warehouse near the city's shore. It’s unclear what sparked the explosion, but there had been warnings about the chemicals since 2014, according to Diab.
Ammonium Nitrate is an industrial chemical that’s often used in fertilizers and mining explosives. To give you a better idea of how dangerous that much ammonium nitrate was, two tons of ammonium nitrate created the bomb that killed 128 people in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Lebanon’s governor Marwan Abboud compared the explosion to the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The situation in Beirut was already deeply concerning before the explosions, however. Hospitals were already overworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, and a lack of funding and resources. Now, they are over capacity. Doctors at St George Hospital near the explosion has to create makeshift wards in the parking lot after the emergency department was destroyed and power was lost.
Financially, the country was gravely struggling even before the coronavirus. Nearly a third of the country is below the poverty line and it was the third-highest debt in the world. In response, anti-government protests have been ensuing in the country since October 2019.
After the explosions that occurred on Tuesday night, the country of Lebanon needs more help than ever. Here's how you can do your part:
Organizations to Donate to:
Lebanese Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org.lb/SubPage.aspx?pageid=1370&PID=158
This Red Cross is typically the most reliable organization to donate to went it comes to medical care. It’s an independent international organization that often aids countries in need during emergency situations.
To donate more easily, download the app here.
When donating, you have the choice to donate to specific local ambulance stations in Beirut.
Here are the stations near Beirut:
Furn el Chebak
Jal el dib
For a map of shelters, click here.
Medical Relief to Lebanon by the Lebanese American Medical Student Association: https://www.gofundme.com/f/medical-relief-to-lebanon
Lebanese Food Bank: https://lebanesefoodbank.org/donate/
Foodblessed Food Bozed to Help Lebaneese in Need: https://www.gofundme.com/f/prevent-suicides-due-to-poverty-and-unemployment
Lebanese Affected Kids and Elderly: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/aid-for-lebanese-affected-kids-and-elderly?utm_term=JgR3Rv9r4
Petitions to sign:
Support people in Lebanon after unexpected explosion: http://chng.it/p2mnNBdJ6c
Financial Aid for victims of the Lebanon Bombing: https://www.change.org/p/international-committee-of-the-red-cross-financial-aid-for-victims-of-the-lebanon-bombing?signed=true
Provide Lebanese Migrants With Aid During COVID-19 Global Crisis: https://www.change.org/p/lebanese-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-provide-lebanese-migrants-with-aid-during-covid-19-global-crisis
Lauren Rousseau is the Online Editor at Rowdy Magazine. She loves watching drug-store versions of The Bachelor and baking cookies at inappropriate hours. You can find her on Instagram at @laurenxrousseau and email her pitches at firstname.lastname@example.org