The capital of Lebanon is a scene of disaster as a terrible explosion rocked the whole city at 6:07 p.m. local time Tuesday near Beirut’s port and central district close to many highly populated areas. The explosion was heard and felt 150 miles away. At least 135 deaths have been recorded with approximately 5000 people injured and the displaced of more than 300,000 people from their homes. The tremors collapsed homes. There are many yet to be identified people in the rubbles caused by the explosion. Many structures and facilities were destroyed. The city’s hospitals are filled up and barely coping as they are overwhelmed by the injured. The explosion has caused major damages to hospitals and knocked out the electricity of the building. The emergency services are barely adequate to deal with the devastation. Some people have not been located in the rubbles and their family members are worried.
In addition to causing serious physical harm; the explosion will also result in significant psychological distress. This is true for those directly involved in the tragedy such as individuals who sustain injuries and the families of those who died in the explosion and also the broader community who may witness the effects of the explosion. Being present at the moment of the explosion is a highly stressful event for those who survive or witness the blast. The occurrence of an explosion in civilian communities puts a strain on civilians’ mental health. Such tragedies do not only cause serious physical and structural devastation but also long-term psychological harm.
Relatively, little attention has been paid to the mental health implications of an explosion in civilian communities and the assistance requirements needed to support those affected psychologically.
The country has been struggling with the implications of economic decline caused as a result of flawed policies formulated by a dysfunctional government. This has compelled Lebanon into its worst economic crisis in history. Its economy is in freefall. The tragic blast on Tuesday will only put more strain on the economy. Businesses will be displaced for months if not years. The port of Beirut records 70% of imports and exports pass through and it’s presently closed and it is majorly rubble presently. The port of Beirut is a strategic location with a direct connection with 56 ports and cooperation with 300 ports worldwide. The Lebanese authority is making use of the Port of Tripoli located in Northern Lebanon for imports presently. Incoming voyages have to be navigated through other routes.
The damages in the city will take a longer time to be restituted. The timing couldn’t be worse. An education crisis has devastated Lebanon for several months’ coupled with the fact that Covid-19 has caused a great uproar in every sector, particularly the educational sector. The country’s currency has collapsed a problem that is itself a result of years of mismanagement and corruption.
From the above, it could be deduced that the economic viability of Lebanon at present wouldn’t be able to sustain the county’s educational input and output which indeed would cause a great setback and future disaster in the country. The consequences of the explosion will be even more serious than the immediate casualties and property damage.