The Aftermath of the Beirut Blast

Collection with 10 media items created by Tamara Saadé

Lebanon 03 Dec 2020 23:16

An earthquake, a black cloud, and a loud explosion: more than 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate shook Beirut to its core on August 4, 2020. The Lebanese capital was never the same after that day. Already paying the consequences of 30 years under the rule of a corrupt government with an unprecedent economic crisis, a worldwide pandemic, the people of Beirut were victims of yet another negligence of their own government after they stored hazardous material which caught fire in Beirut port. More than 200 died, 6,000 were injured and 300,000 were left homeless. The government's response was an awfully loud silence: no one was held accountable, resigned, or even proposed a plan of action or a solution. The Lebanese people were left to themselves. Less than 24 hours after the blast, volunteers were already on the streets with own brooms and shovels, trying to help those who had lost everything. Since that 4th of August, Lebanon hasn't been the same country. After the sadness, the mourning, and the tears, came anger. Protesters took the streets but were met with teargas, rubber bullets, as well as live ammunition. Activists are still fighting to give justice to the victims, while organizations and private initiatives have been on the ground since the first day to rebuild Beirut. But winter is looming, and as much as NGOs can work, they cannot replace a functional governmental institution. While Beirut is trying to get back on its feet, its citizens still have trouble finding a roof above their head, warmth to keep them alive in the midst of a pandemic during a harsh winter, or even some kind of piece of mind at home without the next door building falling apart.

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Title photo for the collection
A Night of Glass
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
03 Aug 2020

On August 4th, 2020, more than 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate blew up in the heart of Beirut's port. The explosion rippled across the city, gutting almost every building, and frosting the streets in window glass, that started to be swept off the streets the same night to allow ambulances and trucks to get to the victims and injured.

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The Morning After
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
04 Aug 2020

Firefighters spent the night of August 4th putting out the fire, but until the early hours of August 5, 2020, smoke still rose from hangar 12 where the explosion happened, next to Lebanon's wheat silos.

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Highway to the Port
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
04 Aug 2020

More than 200 died, 6000 were injured and 300,000 were left homeless after the blast, that spared no one, specially people who were close to the port and its main highway and neighborhoods.

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A broom, a Shovel, and a Mask
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
04 Aug 2020

On August 5th, 2020, less than 24 hours after the blast, civilians grabbed a broom, a mask, and took it upon themselves to clean the streets of Beirut and help those affected by the blast, as no governmental entity was present on the ground.

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Anger Day
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
07 Aug 2020

Protesters took the streets of Beirut on August 8th, 2020, to express their anger after the blast and push the current government out of office, but they were met with teargas and live bullets injuring hundreds.

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Volunteers on the Ground
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
17 Aug 2020

A couple of weeks after the blast, on August 19th, 2020, volunteers such as Offre Joie, a non-governmental organization, already laid out a plan to rebuild the affected areas, while the government remained silent, without releasing any statement, or plan to help those affected by the blast.

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The Chilean and Civil Defense's team ...
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
02 Sep 2020

On September 3rd, 2020, almost a month after the blast, a team of Chilean rescuers detected signs of carbon dioxide emanating from the debris of a building in Gemmayzeh, a Beirut neighborhood close to the port. After 72 sleepless hours relentlessly spent digging along the Lebanese Civil Defense, they didn't find any bodies.

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Saving Beirut's Heritage
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
20 Oct 2020

Local and grassroot organizations started restoring some of Beirut's heritage, century old houses that did not survive the blast of August 4th, 2020, as the government did nothing to compensate for the physical loss the city experienced.

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Another Trash Crisis
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
14 Oct 2020

Two months after the blast, on October 15, 2020, most of the debris left from the buildings after the blast were not properly disposed off, and left to rot in the middle of Beirut in what used to be a parking lot in a residential area, as the government still issued no solution or plan of action concerning the reconstruction of the city.

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Aline and Aya
Beirut
By Tamara Saadé
03 Nov 2020

Aline,13, and her sister, Aya,5, hide underneath a blanket next to their house in the neighborhood of Karantina, close to the port of Beirut. On November 4th, the first winter storm hit Lebanon, and its heavy rains provoked the collapse of buildings affected by the blast. "I felt it was like the blast happened again," says Aline, after the building next to her house collapsed.