Beirut port resumes partial operations a week after explosion
Beirut’s port has resumed partial operations to secure goods for local markets, just over a week after a catastrophic explosion that has fuelled popular anger and upended politics in crisis-hit Lebanon.
The powerful explosion on August 4 shook the Lebanese capital and its environs after 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the port caught fire.
The shockwave flattened nearby buildings and caused extensive material damage in Beirut, killing at least 171 people, wounding some 6,000 others leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Dozens of people are still missing.
According to Lebanon’s caretaker economy minister, the port is now operating to unload vessels for merchants.
“There are 12 cranes out of 16 operating at Beirut port,” Raoul Nehme said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
“The flour stocks of the mills in Lebanon are 32,000 tonnes, in addition to 110,000 tonnes that will arrive within two weeks,” Nehme said, adding that the amount was sufficient for four months.
The explosion came at a time when Lebanon was dealing with a severe financial crisis, along with the coronavirus pandemic. It has led to angry, violent protests in which 728 people were wounded and one police officer killed on Saturday amid a heavy crackdown by security forces.