Hundreds of people marked a minute of silence on Tuesday to pay tribute to the victims of the deadly double explosion that destroyed part of Beirut on August 4. The latest report shows at least 171 dead.
One week after the disaster, the angry street paid tribute to the victims. Church bells rang and at the same time the mosques launched the call for prayer, Tuesday, August 11, at 06:08, the exact time when the double explosion in the port of Beirut destroyed the Lebanese capital on August 4.
At the entrance to the port, several hundred people gathered, most of them dressed in white, some from Gemmayzé, a very nearby tourist area, destroyed by the explosion. When they held up signs that each showed the name of a victim, his nationality and a green cedar, the emblem of Lebanon, they were noticed at the exact time of the explosion. Some cried, others could barely hold back their tears.
Images of the explosion and panic that were evoked in neighborhoods near the port, turned into fields with complete ruins, were displayed on a giant screen. “We will not mourn, we will not have answered until we have buried power,” said one of the speakers.
Anger that never goes out
Another spelled the endless list of names of the victims, which also rolled across the screen. “Everything, it means everything”, sang among hundreds of people who came to pay tribute to the victims to demand that the departure of the political class be responsible for the tragedy.
The anger of the street did not subside, the day after the announcement of the resignation of the Lebanese government. When he left power on Monday, Prime Minister Hassan Diaba accused widespread corruption of being at the root of the disaster. “I had said before that corruption was entrenched at all levels of the state but I discovered that corruption was stronger than the state,” he said in a televised address, accusing the political elite of preventing reforms.
The blast left at least 171 dead and 6,000 injured, according to a new report from the Ministry of Health on Tuesday. Almost 300,000 people are now homeless.
See also >> In pictures: Beirut’s new face, a ruined capital
With AFP and Reuters