xi's moments
Home | Middle East

Misery of blast-hit Beirut set to deepen with winter

China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-11-10 10:49

Volunteers clean rubble from the streets following the blast in Beirut's port area, in Beirut, Lebanon, Aug 7, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIRUT-Mohamad Assaad lives with his four daughters in a small house in Karantina, a Beirut neighborhood that was nearly destroyed by the explosions that rocked the Lebanese capital on Aug 4.

Assaad sits with his daughters around a table with small platters of fried potatoes and a small bowl of salad. He can finally have a peaceful dinner with them after having emptied rainwater from his house, the rooftop of which is no longer capable of protecting Assaad's family and their humble belongings after being damaged by the port blast.

"When it rains, my house is filled with water and it feels as if we live in the streets," Assaad said.

Hind Baytamouni, a mother of three, said she left her house in Karantina three months ago when the explosions hit Beirut.

"I am tired of cleaning my house and my husband, who has been jobless for months now, can barely buy a new door for our house with the beginning of the winter season," Baytamouni said.

Two huge explosions destroyed a large part of the city while killing at least 190 people and wounding some 6,000 others.

Before the explosions, citizens had already suffered from dire living conditions, with the unemployment rate exceeding 50 percent.

The explosions exacerbated an economic and financial crisis caused by a shortage of foreign currency and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also left at least 300,000 people homeless, with thousands unable to afford to fix their homes. They are still waiting for help from the government or foreign donors.

Around 85,744 residential units were partially or completely damaged by the explosions, according to a survey prepared by the Lebanese army.

Sami Howayek, the president of the Advanced Emergency Room, announced on Sunday the army started distributing financial compensation one week ago, saying it will help around 10,000 households.


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349