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World Streets before suits: US envoy vists Beirut's 'real' rescue hub

13:52  14 august  2020
13:52  14 august  2020 Source:   msn.com

Massive explosion near port area rocks Lebanon's capital city of Beirut

  Massive explosion near port area rocks Lebanon's capital city of Beirut A massive explosion has shaken Lebanon's capital Beirut, wounding a number of people, destroying buildings and causing widespread damage. The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city centre and appeared to have been triggered by a fire in a warehouse.It destroyed homes and offices around the port and shattered windows across the city.Beirut local Fady Roumieh was among a large number of Twitter users to post videos of the explosion.

Rescue Hub is a rescue group run solely by volunteers. We save It can also be used as a front or back harness, depending on your preference. With loads of features suited for your dog, you can be certain they'll appreciate the thought too.

The US Embassy in Beirut urged those in the area of the explosion to "stay indoors and wear masks if available" due to reports of toxic gases released from the blast. The explosion damaged buildings across the city, including the official residence of Lebanon' s president, the headquarters of former

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: David Hale (R) listens to a volunteer during a visit to Beirut on Thursday © Hussein Malla David Hale (R) listens to a volunteer during a visit to Beirut on Thursday

Arriving in Lebanon after last week's deadly Beirut blast, US envoy David Hale bypassed politicians to head straight to a hard-hit neighbourhood where young volunteers are helping people abandoned by their state.

At the volunteer hub dubbed the "Base Camp", there is a "focus on getting things done," Hale told a press conference after his tour.

Huge explosion rocks Lebanon's capital Beirut: Live updates

  Huge explosion rocks Lebanon's capital Beirut: Live updates Hundreds wounded in huge explosion that ripped through Lebanese capital, according to the country's health minister.The explosion released a shockwave causing widespread damage to buildings and shattering windows in different parts of the city.

US President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that nobody knows yet exactly what happened with respect to the massive explosion at the port of Beirut yesterday. "They don't really know what it is, nobody knows yet," Trump said on Wednesday.

Now, Beirut residents are digging out of the devastation, looking for survivors, victims and answers. Nearly all the windows along one popular commercial strip had been blown out and the street was littered with glass, rubble and cars that had slammed into each other after the blast.

He contrasted the hive of activity to the "dysfunctional governance and empty promises" of Lebanon's political leaders, who face public outrage over the explosion of a vast stock of ammonium nitrate stored for years at Beirut's port.

Volunteer efforts "could not only be tapped to rebuild Beirut but (also) to undertake necessary reforms that will bring the kind of transformation that is necessary for Lebanon," Hale said.

In the wake of the August 4 explosion of a the huge chemical store that laid waste to whole Beirut neighbourhoods, students and young professionals have ditched classes and day jobs to save lives, provide emergency support and start to rebuild.

a group of people in a room: Last week's deadly explosion heavily damaged buildings across Beirut © JOSEPH EID Last week's deadly explosion heavily damaged buildings across Beirut

Hale's visit to the volunteer hub in the blast-hit Gemmayzeh district came days after French President Emmanuel Macron took a tour of the same street last Thursday, as well as meeting Lebanese leaders.

Beirut explosion aftermath revealed in satellite and drone images, officials estimate up to $US20 billion in damages

  Beirut explosion aftermath revealed in satellite and drone images, officials estimate up to $US20 billion in damages Images from before and after the explosion show a once-thriving club and dining district shrouded in broken glass and debris, while damage to buildings can be seen extending several kilometres away throughout Beirut.Images from before and after the explosion show a once-thriving club and dining district shrouded in broken glass and debris, while damage to buildings can be seen extending several kilometres away throughout the city.

Two major explosions shook the Lebanese capital of Beirut , with eyewitness footage capturing the blasts and showing the devastation wreaked in the surrounding area. The blasts have been blamed on a fireworks accident. The first blast struck the city’ s port shortly after 6pm local time on Tuesday.

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But while Macron was welcomed as a saviour, it was clear that the heroes of the moment were the volunteers.

"I don't know why (Hale) would do that second step and go to meet politicians," said Wassim Bou Malham, 33, who leads a database management team at the Base Camp.

"The aid is happening here, the data collection is happening here, the cleaning is happening here, the reconstruction is happening here," he told AFP.

Wearing face masks and neon vests, volunteers sounded like international experts as they explained how they were cleaning up their government's mess.

In fluent English, they described 3D mapping operations, data collection and relief efforts organised since the cataclysmic blast.

- 'Work speaks for itself' -

Bou Malham, who spoke with Hale during the tour, is not a data expert but picked up useful experience managing client databases for two of Beirut's biggest nightclubs.

WHO launches $ 15 million appeal for Beirut

 WHO launches $ 15 million appeal for Beirut LEBANON-SECURITY-EXPLOSION-WHO: WHO launches $ 15 million appeal for Beirut © Reuters / MOHAMED AZAKIR WHO LAUNCHES $ 15 MILLION APPEAL FOR BEIRUT CAIRO (Reuters) - World Health Organization (WHO) has appealed for $ 15 million (€ 12.7 million) to meet the emergency health needs of Lebanon after the massive explosion that devastated the port of Beirut and part of the Lebanese capital on Tuesday.

All the latest breaking news on Beirut . Browse The Independent’ s complete collection of articles and commentary on Beirut . In the absence of any real help from the government, ordinary civilians are stepping in to support one another.

The remarks come after The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed US officials as saying on Wednesday that the Trump administration is considering new sanctions and "other legal steps to disrupt Iranian oil exports to Venezuela", in response to what Washington sees as Tehran' s attempts "to make inroads

After the blast tore through the city, wounding 6,500 people and displacing 300,000 from their homes, his skills became vital for the aid effort.

The digitised database developed by Bou Malham and his team of volunteers is now critical for sorting and delivering aid to thousands of blast survivors.

"We haven't seen any government official or representative actually come in here and ask us if we need anything," he said.

"It's so funny that David Hale is the first."

It is not only in the Base Camp that the state has been thin on the ground.

In the first hours after the explosion, civil defence teams were vastly outnumbered by young volunteers flooding the streets to help.

By the next day, the latter had set up a camp where they offered food, medicine, temporary shelter and repair services to thousands of blast victims, in partnership with several non-governmental groups.

Operations have continued to expand since.

A Base Camp relief hotline received more than 200 calls in the first two hours. Volunteers have assessed the damage to around 1,200 homes and installed at least 600 wooden doors.

Australian Beirut explosion victim identified as two-year-old Isaac Oehlers

  Australian Beirut explosion victim identified as two-year-old Isaac Oehlers Isaac's family says they are heartbroken by the loss of their boy and express condolences to everyone in Lebanon after the disaster which killed 158 people, injured 5,000 and destroyed much of the Mediterranean city of Beirut.His family has issued a statement on their loss following the disaster which killed 158 people, injured 5,000 and destroyed much of the Mediterranean city on Tuesday.

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"The work is going to speak for itself," said Bushra, a 37-year-old volunteer.

- Bypassing government -

Simmering anger against Lebanon's leaders has flared since the blast, which appears to have been caused by years of state corruption and negligence.

With 171 people dead, it is widely seen as the most tragic manifestation yet of the rot at the core of the country's political system.

Western donors too are fed up with Lebanon's barons, who have for years resisted reforms demanded by the international community.

In a joint statement released after an international donor conference organised by France in the wake of the disaster, world leaders called for aid to be delivered directly to the Lebanese people.

USAID acting administrator, John Barsa, said at the time that American help "is absolutely not going to the government".

USAID "will increase its financial support to civil society groups in Lebanon by 30 percent to $6.627 million", Barsa said in a press briefing on Thursday.

At the volunteer camp in Gemmayzeh, it was clear that funding would be put to good use.

Ziad al-Zein, arrives before volunteers start their shifts at 9:00 am to ensure the camp is clean and secure.

The 33-year-old was among the first groups of volunteers clearing debris in Gemmayzeh.

Little or no hope of finding survivors at Lebanon blast site: army

  Little or no hope of finding survivors at Lebanon blast site: army The Lebanese army said Sunday that hopes have dwindled of finding survivors at the blast site in Beirut following days of search and rescue operations supported by international experts. "After three days of search and rescue operations we can say we have finished the first phase, which involved the possibility of finding survivors," Colonel Roger Khoury told a press conference. "As technicians working on the ground, we can say we have fading hopes of finding survivors," added Khoury, who heads a team of military technicians operating at the blast site.

"We are not speacialists in crisis management or catastophe management. We are learning things as we go," he said.

"There is no state," he added. "We will not abandon our fellow Lebanese in these conditions."

ho/sw/par


Video: Lebanon struggling after deadly Beirut explosion (NBC News)

Lebanon struggling after deadly Beirut explosion
  Streets before suits: US envoy vists Beirut's 'real' rescue hub NBC News See more videos
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