Comments on the blast in Lebanon's Beirut in Arab News, 6 Aug 2020

7 August, 2020
read < 1 minute

Dr. Nasser Saidi’s comments appeared in the Arab News article titled “Doctors on emergency duty describe horror of Beirut explosions“, published 6th August 2020.
Comments are posted below:
“The scale of the destruction is unprecedented, even by Beirut’s sad history of explosions,” Nasser Saidi, a former economy and trade minister and founder of Nasser Saidi & Associates, told Arab News from Beirut.
“On a global scale, this was the most powerful explosion after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more devastating than Halifax (1917) and Texas City (1947) where 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded,” he said. “The resulting loss of life and injuries to residents has generated deep anger. The ammonium nitrate had been in storage at Beirut port since 2014, posing a clear danger. It was a disaster waiting to happen.”
“This is a case of criminal neglect by the authorities and management in charge of the port, customs, the security and judicial authorities and governments. Warnings were given, but they went unheeded. There must be justice and accountability.”
Saidi warned the explosions will deepen the economic, banking and financial meltdown, currency depreciation and soaring inflation. The destruction of the port will hit Lebanon’s imports of food, medicines and essential goods.
“International aid is required not only to address humanitarian needs but to push for political reform,” he said. “The Diab government cannot continue blaming the accumulations of past bad governance.”

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