Strong blasts, a wall of smoke and a city plunged into chaos: Beirut, the Lebanese capital, was rocked by two powerful explosions in the port district on Tuesday afternoon. The results of these explosions are still provisional, with at least 78 dead and 3,700 injured, according to the Lebanese government. Sabine, a resident whom Europe 1 was able to reach, was a few hundred from the epicenter of the disaster at the time of the explosion. "It was apocalyptic, I did not expect to experience that one day in my life," she tells our microphone.
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"Suddenly, it started to rain debris, glass"
"We first heard a kind of first explosion with a small tremor so that surprised me", explains Sabine. "And immediately after a huge explosion that blew everything. Suddenly, it started to rain debris, glass." The power of the explosion and its significant blast, which were felt as far as the island of Cyprus, more than 200 kilometers away, could be explained by the large stock of ammonium nitrate present in the port, a substance which goes into the composition of certain fertilizers, but also of explosives.
Footage of the Explosion in # Beirut # Lebanon a few minutes ago. Praying for the safety of everyone. pic.twitter.com/6Q3y6A6DxL- Fady Roumieh (@FadyRoumieh) August 4, 2020
In the streets of Beirut, it is panic. After having resisted the blast of the second explosion, Sabine wonders. "Do I take shelter at the risk of the windows farting on me or do I continue to wander in the street?" His immediate reaction, however, was to call his parents, who remained in France. "At least to talk to them, not knowing if a next explosion was going to be on me or not," says Sabine at the microphone of Europe 1.
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National Day of Mourning Wednesday
After wandering the streets for an hour, Sabine saw scenes of desolation in a battered Lebanese capital. "Everyone was honking, everyone was screaming: people were bleeding," she said. Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared Wednesday a national day of mourning and pledged that those responsible should "be held to account". On Tuesday evening, many countries offered aid to Lebanon. France is sending several tons of sanitary equipment there on Wednesday.