'It's like a war zone without the war': Lebanese diaspora in shock after explosions devastate Beirut

Thank you for your reading and interest in the news 'It's like a war zone without the war': Lebanese diaspora in shock after explosions devastate Beirut and now with details

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The massive explosions that tore Beirut apart were heard 240 kilometres away in Cyprus but shockwaves from the blasts travelled around the world.

The Lebanese diaspora in the UK on Tuesday watched from afar in horror as events unfolded.

As authorities in Beirut counted the cost from the blasts, Father Fadi Kmeid, the head of Our Lady of Lebanon, London’s Maronite church, did the same.

Fr Kmeid called members of his congregation whose loved ones were missing or wounded.

“I can't express myself in terms of what we are feeling,” he told The National, his voice trailing off as he spoke from his church in west London, which has a congregation of 1,500 families.

"It’s devastation mixed with sadness, mixed with I don't know what.

“The majority of the people here left Lebanon during the time of war and these scenes bring back to them very difficult memories. It's a war zone without the war.”

Destruction inside a church in the aftermath of the massive explosion. AFP

A man holds a damaged sculpture depicting Mary in his house near the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area. Reuters

A man removes broken glass scattered on the carpet of a mosque damaged in Tuesday's blast in Beirut. Reuters

A woman cleans debris from her damaged apartment a day after an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut. AP Photo

People clean debris at Mohammed Al Amin mosque in the centre of Beirut. AFP

People clean debris at Mohammed Al Amin mosque in the centre of Beirut. AFP

Karim Corbani, 45, poses for a portrait inside his bedroom in Beirut. Getty Images

Workers throw a broken window from a damaged apartment a day after an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut. AP Photo

A helicopter trying to put out the fire a day after the explosion rocked Beirut. EPA

Women clear the damage outside a sideroad kiosk in Beirut. AFP

People help clear rubble and debris from the driveway of a residential building in Beirut. Bloomberg

The damaged Wardieh hospital is pictured in the aftermath of the blast that tore through Lebanon's capital. AFP

A woman sits in front of a building, damaged by the explosion a day earlier. Getty Images

Lebanese inspect the damage in the aftermath of yesterday's blast that tore through Lebanon's capital. AFP

A woman looks out of the collapsed facade of an apartment. Getty Images

A woman looks down from a balcony. Getty Images

A man looks from the balcony of a building. Getty Images

A woman stands inside her damaged home. Reuters

7733b16216.jpg

Fr Kmeid said that apart from attending to the community in the UK, he was focused on getting aid to Lebanon after so much already sent to help the struggling country was destroyed at the port.

Our Lady of Lebanon has set up a fund to complement international efforts by the Lebanese Red Cross and Impact Lebanon’s disaster relief.

The crowdfunding page for Impact Lebanon’s disaster relief fund has raised £2.5 million (Dh12m/$3.2m) of its £5m goal.

The organisation will be co-ordinating with Lebanese charities on how to use the money most effectively.

Hicham Felter, a British-Lebanese political strategist in London, said he sent messages to friends and loved ones immediately after the explosion to check on their safety.

Mr Felter said that while most had escaped unharmed, one friend had to be treated in hospital and given stitches.

“A lot of people were very lucky to escape with minor injuries,” he said.

Mr Felter, who was the campaign director for Saad Hariri during the former Lebanese prime minister's 2018 re-election campaign, said the Beirut tragedy multiplied Lebanon’s existing problems.

“You have political crisis, economic crisis, a refugee crisis, the Covid crisis, corruption crisis and the grip of terror organisations on the country, which built a state within a state, before the shocking explosion,” he said. “It’s a perfect storm.”

The British government has pledged up to £5m in emergency funding to help the estimated 300,000 people made homeless in Beirut by the blasts.

The UK also said it offered support to the Lebanese armed forces and an emergency medical team.

Aid is loaded up on a plane to Lebanon at airport to support Beirut after the explosion, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Aid is loaded up on a plane to Lebanon at Dubai airport to support Beirut after the explosion, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Aid is loaded up on a plane to Lebanon at Dubai airport to support Beirut after the explosion, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Aid is loaded up on a plane to Lebanon at Dubai airport to support Beirut after the explosion, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Aid is loaded up on a plane to Lebanon at Dubai airport to support Beirut after the explosion, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Staff from the WHO and Red Cross and Red Crescent sprung into action on Tuesday night as the death and injury toll in Beirut became clear.

The first flight will carry 40 tonnes, mostly bandages, syringes and other medical equipment. Food shipments are expected to follow.

Medical aid is loaded on to a truck at International Humanitarian City in Dubai. All photos by Chris Whiteoak / The National

George Maina, warehouse manager for IFRC, pictured at Humanitarian City outside Dubai.

Staff worked quickly to prepare the shipment for a cargo flight on Wednesday afternoon.

Staff worked quickly to prepare the shipment for a cargo flight on Wednesday afternoon.

Staff worked quickly to prepare the shipment for a cargo flight on Wednesday afternoon.

WHO, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies donated the shipment.

Nevien Attalla, operations manager for WHO's Dubai hub, said the shipment had to double in size once the scale of the situation became clear.

48ee4942df.jpg

Queen Elizabeth II said she was “deeply saddened” by the news of the explosion.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been injured or lost their lives, and all those whose homes and livelihoods have been affected,” she said.

Hayel Khazaal, a community activist in the north of England, said he had been saddened by the events in Beirut but voiced anger over the apparent negligence that led to the explosions.

Lebanese officials have said the huge blast occurred after 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were left in a warehouse near the port for years.

“The loss of life and property that occurred yesterday was due to the corruption and gross negligence of the Lebanese governments,” Mr Khazaal said.

“We feel very sad about what happened and we will call for an international criminal investigation to uncover and hold those responsible accountable."

Updated: August 5, 2020 11:58 PM

These were the details of the news 'It's like a war zone without the war': Lebanese diaspora in shock after explosions devastate Beirut for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at The National and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

PREV Iraq says ‘not happy’ with ‘dangerous’ US pullout threat
NEXT Google Play Movies & TV is now Google TV