Cabinet declares state of emergency in Beirut August 5
Severity: 4 (High)
Source: Drum Cussac
08/06/2020 (Lebanon) - The Lebanese cabinet declared a two-week state of emergency (SoE) in Beirut on Wednesday, August 5, following an explosion at the Port of Beirut on Tuesday, August 4. The security of the city of Beirut has been handed over to the military. Government officials who were responsible for the port's security and storage of ammonium nitrate have been put under house arrest, which is also overseen by the military. Around 100 billion Lebanese pounds have been allocated by authorities to manage the emergency. As of Wednesday evening, at least 135 fatalities and more than 4000 injuries have been reported, and around 100 people are believed to be missing. It is estimated that around 300,000 people have been displaced.
The city has been declared a disaster zone and a total lockdown in Lebanon, which was expected to run from Thursday, August 6, until Tuesday, August 11, to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has been canceled. A period of mourning of three days will be observed from Wednesday. According to President Michel Aoun, the unsafe storage of 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in the area caused the explosion.
Hospitals in Beirut have suffered damage, particularly in the eastern neighborhood of Achrafieh, and have been overwhelmed by the number of casualties. Patients have had to be treated in the streets, with serious cases evacuated outside of Beirut.
Significant disruption to transportation, business, and utilities is to be expected in Beirut, and to a lesser extent throughout Lebanon, in the near term.
Those in Beirut are advised to monitor local media sources for further updates on the incident and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Copyright © 2020 Drum Cussac
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