One of the most westernised Arab countries, with HDI higher than any other Arab
country, Lebanon, known as the Jewel Of the Middle East, faced the biggest
explosion of the century, caused by 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which
is more than 20 times the largest bomb made by humans, militarily!
This unprecedented disaster took place at 6.08 p.m on 4 Aug,2020, resulting into a
huge mushroom cloud in a country that has been reduced to ashes 7 times in its
history of 10,000 years.
The cause of this horrific incident is yet marred in controversies.
A Russian beat-up ship Rhosus, originally set off from Georgia to Mozambique had
to cross this Swiss lake but didn’t have enough to pay the tax; the ship went to carry
extra cargoes from Beirut also to be transported to America, but the machines didn’t
fit. The ship was later confiscated.
With the Hezbollah angle being involved, in a country with 54% Muslim population,
surrounded by Israel on one side and the port being used for extensive exchange of
arms, it is assumed that this could be for this terrorist group.
The aftermath is depressing. The hospitals, already struggling with pandemic were
overwhelmed with patients. Over 3,00,000 people became homeless and a two
weeks emergency has been declared. Food security is a worry!
For a country whose currency has lost 90%of its value in the last one year, it would
be very difficult to cope up with this loss of 23,000 crore. At a time of many other
global uncertainties, the Lebanon government is requesting a loan from the IMF, but
the countries fear that any money given to Lebanon now, would disappear into
foreign accounts, considering its confessional system of distribution of power.