The Port of Beirut has resumed partial operations to secure goods for local markets, just over a week after a catastrophic explosion that fueled popular anger and turned politics in crisis Lebanon.
The powerful explosion of August 4 rocked the Lebanese capital and its surroundings after 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the port caught fire.
The shock wave razed nearby buildings and caused extensive property damage in Beirut, killing at least 171 people, injuring some 6,000 others, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Dozens of people are still missing.
According to the Lebanese Acting Minister of Economy, the port is now functioning to unload ships for merchants.
“There are 12 out of 16 cranes in service in the port of Beirut,” Raoul Nehme said in a Twitter message on Wednesday.
“Flour stocks in the mills in Lebanon are 32,000 tonnes, in addition to the 110,000 tonnes which will arrive in two weeks,” Nehme said, adding that the quantity was sufficient for four months.
The explosion came at a time when Lebanon was facing a serious financial crisis, alongside the coronavirus pandemic. This led to violent and violent protests in which 728 people were injured and a policeman killed on Saturday as part of a violent crackdown by security forces.
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The government resigned Monday, but will remain interim until a new cabinet is formed.
In his resignation speech, Prime Minister Hassan Diab blamed the explosion on rampant corruption it is “greater than the state”.
Protesters called for the total elimination of what they see as a corrupt ruling class they believe is responsible for the country’s woes, including an economic crisis that has ravaged the currency, crippled banks and spiked prices .
Officials said the explosion could have caused losses of $ 15 billion, a bill Lebanon cannot pay, given the depth of the financial crisis that has seen people frozen their savings accounts since. October amid a dollar shortage.
President Michel Aoun has promised a swift and transparent investigation into the explosion and said the investigation will examine whether it was negligence, an accident or external factors.
This week, reports revealed that Aoun and the now resigned Prime Minister Hassan Diab were warned in July of the stored ammonium nitrate.
On Tuesday, residents of Beirut gathered near the site of the explosion and held a vigil to remember the victims.
“These people want what they call an independent salvation government,” said Zeina Khodr of Al Jazeera, Beirut.
“But there are others who still support a sectarian system that they believe still protects them. “