"I've never seen such a big destruction. This is a national calamity, this is a disaster for Lebanon."
Rabat – Mayor of the Lebanese capital of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, appeared in tears while addressing reporters a few hours after a massive explosion rocked the city this evening, August 4.
The news coverage took place near the site of the explosion.
The Lebanese official, surrounded by military members, said that he came looking for 10 firefighters who disappeared on duty, and that there was no available information about them.
The explosion “is similar to what happened in Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said Abboud, adding that he had never seen an explosion of such size.
“I’ve never seen such a big destruction. This is a national calamity, this is a disaster for Lebanon.”
“We need to remain strong, we need to hold on and be brave … but this is too much …,” said Abboud with tears in his eyes.
When asked about information regarding the explosion, Beirut’s mayor said that he has nothing but this “disaster” in his face.
The blast claimed the lives of more than 50 and injured more than 2,700, according to the Lebanese health minister.
Lebanon’s international security chief shared that the explosion took place in an area containing highly explosive materials.
The explosion has overwhelmed the hospitals of Beirut with its victims.
The explosion also reached parts of the presidential residence of ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who left the residence safely.
The explosion took place only three days before Friday’s verdict in a trial about the 2005 assassination of ex-Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri.
The incident also comes at a sensitive time for Lebanon. The country is experiencing a harsh economic crisis that is marked by a high inflation rate, leaving the Lebanese people in poverty.
The horrifying scenes that resulted from the massive explosion have caused scores of Lebanese people to call for the resignation of their government. A Lebanese TV anchor vented his anger at Lebanon’s President and at the government in a live TV program and called for their resignation.