In Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, a devastating explosion took place on Tuesday evening. To date, more than 140 people have been killed and at least 5,000 injured. Hannah Abdoulah’s grandmother and four brothers from Maastricht live in Beirut.
“I don’t want to lose them. Many people have died and many houses have been destroyed by the explosion. Hospitals are full,” said Abdoulah in the L1 News Show. She tries to keep in touch with her family on a daily basis, but it is difficult. “We do not have daily contact, because there is not always internet in Lebanon. It is difficult to reach them. I call six or eight times and do not get an answer.”
The explosion is said to have been caused by more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate, which was stored in the harbor. Petra Stienen, a Lebanon expert from Roermond, regularly visits Beirut and is touched by the event. “My heart is crying. This country deserves better. The explosion is a blow after a lot of misery. We cannot imagine what people from Lebanon have seen: thirty years of occupation by Syria, war, bombing by Israel, fifteen years of civil war, economic crisis and demonstrations. The only thing that keeps the country going is the resilience and resilience of the people themselves. ”
“This was not an accident or a natural disaster,” says Stienen of the explosion. “This is due to years of total neglect of warning signs. This disaster was to be expected. People are so furious that the government allowed this to happen. Lebanon is in shock.” Stienen suspects that the residents will demonstrate and demand that people resign. “If the corrupt mafia system doesn’t change, there will be no help for Lebanon.” Not only money, but also reforms are needed, she says. “Lebanon needs the international community to implement reforms.”