August 5, 2020

THE NEWS FROM THIS CATASTROPHE JUST GETS WORSE: Beirut in state of emergency after blast as death toll rises and rescues continue. “At least 100 people have been killed and 4,000 injured, the secretary-general of the Lebanese Red Cross, George Kettana, told LBCI, a local broadcaster on Wednesday. Those figures look set to rise with hospitals overwhelmed and victims still trapped underneath debris. . . . The governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, also said on Wednesday the cost of the damage to the capital, already under economic pressure, could be between $3 billion and $5 billion, adding that the explosion had made at least 200,000 people homeless. Many in Lebanon’s capital saw their apartments destroyed and family members injured, with daylight revealing scenes of destruction not witnessed in the country since its devastating civil war, which ended in 1990.”

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