The past 72 hours have been quite surreal in what has already been an extraordinary year. As if the protests from Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent were not enough to take in, the latest events from Beirut in Lebanon sent shockwaves (literally) across the planet.
An explosion from a warehouse at the city’s port, said to have been ignited by confiscated ammonium nitrate, left over 100 people dead and thousands more injured. Footage of the blast felt like something out of a film or television but the reality of the damage it caused was felt instantly.
The explosion tore through the city, flipping cars, shattering glass and causing some homes to crumble. Damaged buildings include the headquarters of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and CNN’s bureau in downtown Beirut.
Homes as far as 10 kilometers away were damaged, according to witnesses.Beirut’s governor Marwan Abboud told reporters that the explosion had resulted in an estimated three to five billion US dollars’ worth of damage. NNA, Lebanon’s state-run media, reported that 90% of hotels in the Lebanese capital had been damaged.
The tributes have poured in from around the world, including from across the African continent where plenty have shared their support with the people of Lebanon.
With every passing day we learn more about the deadly explosion and continue sending support to the people of Lebanon.