A week after the disaster, the angry street paid tribute to the victims. Church bells rang and mosques simultaneously launched the call to prayer, Tuesday, August 11, at 6:08 p.m., the exact time at which the double explosion in the port of Beirut ravaged the Lebanese capital on the 4th August.
At the entrance to the port, several hundred people, most of them dressed in white, gathered, some from Gemmayzé, a very nearby tourist area, devastated by the explosion. Holding up signs each displaying the name of a victim, his nationality and a green cedar, emblem of Lebanon, they came to attention at the exact time of the explosion. Some were crying, others could hardly hold back their tears.
Images of the explosion and scenes of panic aroused in neighborhoods near the port, transformed into fields of tottering ruins, were shown on a giant screen. "We will not mourn, we will not wear black before having buried the power," said one of the speakers.
Anger that never goes out
Another spelled out the endless list of the names of the victims, which also scrolled across the screen. "All, that means all", chanted among the hundreds of people who came to pay homage to the victims, to demand the departure of the political class that they make responsible for the tragedy.
The anger of the street did not calm down, the day after the announcement of the resignation of the Lebanese government. In stepping down from power on Monday, Prime Minister Hassan Diab 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 for preventing reforms.
The explosion 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: the new face of Beirut, a devastated capital
With AFP and Reuters
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