#PrayForBeirut: People take to social media with messages of support after deadly explosion

#PrayForBeirut: People take to social media with messages of support after deadly explosion
At least 100 people have died and thousands injured in the deadly explosion near a Beirut port, and people across the world are sending messages of support.
3 min read
05 August, 2020
Dozens have died as a result of the explosion [Getty]

Dozens of people have died in a deadly explosion in Beirut’s harbour area, with thousands of people injured and parts of the city resembling a post-nuclear landscape, and social media is filled with messages of support for Lebanon.

The confirmed death toll stood at 73 at 2am but with more than 3,000 wounded and hospitals struggling to cope, a much higher final count seemed inevitable, and rescuers put the death toll much higher – at 100 and more.

As the country reels from devastation, thought to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse, people online are using the hashtag #PrayForBeirut to send messages of support.

Twitter user Uman Malik, from Pakistan, wrote: "Sending our prayers of luv and healing to all the people in Beirut, Lebanon. please pray for their fast recovery and safety. they need need our Prayers.We All Pakistanis r with u nd we r all brothers. [sic]"

Political cartoonist Carlos Latuff created a graphic in support of Lebanon, writing: “Solidarity with people of Beirut. Solidarity with people of Lebanon.”

Others noted the shocking, almost movie-like visuals of the explosion.

“This is not a movie seen that happened in #Beirut , #Lebanon .Please pray for everyone who was there. 2020 is probably the worst year in entire history,” another user added.

With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc across the world including in Lebanon, Twitter users pointed out that Lebanon is under pressure.

"Can't believe that in the middle of this pandemic, people in Lebanon is now facing another disaster," one person wrote.

"Sending prayers and deepest condolences to our dear Lebanese brothers and sisters. May God always guide you. Godbless you all."

British MPs sent messages of support also. Debbie Abrahams, Labour MP for Oldham East & Saddleworth wrote:

"Sending a message of solidarity & support to our Lebanese brothers & sisters following the devastating explosion in #Beirut."

"As if life hasn’t been hard enough for those living in #Beirut We send condolences to all those affected by this terrible catastrophe and hope #Lebanon gets the support it needs in the days ahead," said Tracy Brahin, Labour MP for Batley & Spen.

Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, urged the UK to lend its hospital ship RFA ARGUS to Lebanon for relief.

"This is our hospital ship RFA ARGUS."

"With Beirut hospitals overwhelmed (injured being treated in car parks) this asset should be part of our support offered to Lebanon."

Scenes of 'apocalypse'

The blast, which appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse, was felt as far away as Cyprus, some 150 miles (240 kilometres) to the northwest.

The scale of the destruction was such that the Lebanese capital resembled the scene of an earthquake, with thousands of people left homeless and thousands more cramming into overwhelmed hospitals for treatment.

"We’ve had some dark days in Lebanon over the years but this is something else," said Rami Rifai, a 38-year-old engineer, speaking to AFP from a hospital where his two daughters were receiving treatment after sustaining cuts despite being half a kilometre from the seat of the blast.

"We already had the economic crisis, a government of thieves and coronavirus. I didn't think it could get worse but now I don't know if this country can get up again. Everyone is going to try to leave. I will try to leave," he said, his voice choked by tears.

Close allies and traditional adversaries of Lebanon also paid tribute on Tuesday to the victims of massive and deadly twin blasts in Beirut, as condolences and offers of help poured in from a host of world leaders including from Germany, Israel and Egypt.

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