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Beirut blast: 'Think of an apocalyptic movie, that is what it looks like'

7 August 2020 7:35 AM
Tags:
Explosion
Lebanon
Beirut

South African broadcaster living in Lebanon Mia Verdoorn Shamma reflects on how the country looks like after the two explosions.

Thousands of Lebanese have been left to pick up the pieces, while a special operation is underway to find possible survivors in the aftermath of the explosion in the Beirut port.

This is after Tuesday's explosions destroyed entire districts of the capital, killing nearly 150 people and wounding at least 5,000.

RELATED: 'It was like an earthquake,' says Lebanon Ambassador to South Africa

According to Lebanese authorities the explosions were triggered by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate negligently stored in a warehouse at Beirut's port since 2013.

Bongani Bingwa chats to South African broadcaster living in Lebanon Mia Verdoorn Shamma to unpack what is happening in that country.

To say that it is a catastrophe is putting it likely, it is absolute pandemonium. There is destruction wherever you look with civilians cleaning the streets and are in hospitals helping out.

Mia Verdoorn Shamma, South African broadcaster living in Lebanon

Over 3,000 families lost their homes in a matter of seconds and beautiful old buildings are now just piles of rubble, she says.

Beautiful modern buildings that were just finished in the last six months are now skeletal. I don't think anyone can imagine it unless they are here but if you think of an apocalyptic movie, that is what it looks like.

Mia Verdoorn Shamma, South African broadcaster living in Lebanon

There is major structural damage to the buildings surrounding the area and even if the skeletal still stand, the buildings will have to be demolished and rebuilt, she adds.

We don't know how long that will take and with the economy the way it is, we are just going to see piles of rubble for a very long time I think.

Mia Verdoorn Shamma, South African broadcaster living in Lebanon

Living in the country for over seven years, she says Beirut is a melting pot of different cultures.

Lebanon in particular, is amazing in that in the winter time you can be sitting at the beach having coffee and 45 minutes later you could be on the mountain slopes skiing.

Mia Verdoorn Shamma, South African broadcaster living in Lebanon

Listen below to the full conversation:


7 August 2020 7:35 AM
Tags:
Explosion
Lebanon
Beirut

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