Lebanon (MNN) — One year ago today, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history rocked the port of Beirut. Over 200 people died, thousands were injured, and many lost businesses or homes.
Wissam Nasrallah of LSESD says, “When you drive by the port or walk by the explosion area, you can still see in a very visible way how the buildings and the streets in the city were impacted by the blast.”
Improperly stored chemicals caused the explosion, a result of corruption and inefficiency in the government.
But Nasrallah says people are no closer to getting justice. “Most of the folks that lost their businesses and homes did not recover anything from any insurance or state. They had to fix things by themselves, relying on family, friends, NGOs and so on. Add to that the emotional and psychological toll of knowing that even 11 months after such a horrendous explosion, the legal investigation is still going on.”
Lebanon’s political class still has formed no government since the explosion, and the country faces a severe financial crisis; the Lebanese pound has lost most of its value amid rampant poverty.
But the Church remains ever-present, helping those in need and providing hope.
Header photo courtesy of Horizons International.