Beirut collective losses after Aug 4 explosion may reach $15 billion

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Beirut’s governor told Al Hadath TV on Wednesday that collective losses after Beirut’s blast on Aug. 4 may reach $10 billion to $15 billion, with the governor explaining the number includes both direct and indirect losses related to business.

The governor also told Al Hadath TV that amounts of available wheat are currently limited and he thinks a crisis might take place without international interference.

Satellite images of Beirut port before and after disaster
A satellite image made available by MAXAR Technologies shows capsized Orient Queen ship after a major explosion that took place on 04 August in the devastated port area of Beirut, Lebanon, . EPA-EFE/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES HANDOUT — MANDATORY CREDIT: SATELLITE IMAGE 2020 MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES —

Lebanese rescue teams pulled out bodies and hunted for missing people on Wednesday from the wreckage caused by a massive warehouse explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 135.

See also: U.S. has not totally ruled out that Beirut blast was an attack

Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared three days of mourning from Thursday as early investigations blamed negligence for the explosion at Beirut port, which has left tens of people missing and injured more than 5,000 others.

Up to a quarter of a million people were left without homes fit to live in, officials said, after shockwaves smashed building facades, sucked furniture out into streets and shattered windows miles inland.

Satellite images of Beirut port before and after disaster
A satellite image made available by MAXAR Technologies shows capsized Orient Queen ship after a major explosion that took place on 04 August in the devastated port area of Beirut, Lebanon. EPA-EFE/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES HANDOUT — MANDATORY CREDIT: SATELLITE IMAGE 2020 MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES

The death toll was expected to rise from the blast, which officials blamed on a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.

The explosion was the most powerful ever in Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war that ended three decades ago and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus infections. The blast rattled buildings on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away.

The explosion killed at least 135 people, injured 5,000 and pushed up to 250,000 out of their homes after the shockwaves ripped out doors and shattered windows miles inland.

For many Lebanese, it was the latest blow they blamed on a clutch of sectarian political elites that have ruled for decades.

The government has vowed to hold those responsible for the explosion to account.

But for workers and residents sweeping up debris in the popular nightlife neighbourhood of Gemmayze, clouds of dust swirling around them, it sounded just like the empty promises they were tired of.

Thousands of Lebanese have protested since October against state waste and corruption that pushed the country into financial ruin. The local currency has since crashed, sending prices soaring and leaving many poor.

s2.reutersmedia.net

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