Car Loading Haytham and Volker

Beirut: A new catastrophe requires our commitment

A WORSHIPFUL EXPLOSION ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, IN THE PORT OF BEIRUT HAS SO FAR CAUSED 135 DEATHS AND MORE THAN 5,000 INJURIES.

The images and videos from Beirut that reach us are shocking and the destructive power of the explosion is almost tangible on these films. Our team from Cap Anamur / Deutsche Not-Ärzte e.V. is about 50 km away from Beirut, but even here the effects of the explosion were still noticeable – even here the windows were shaking. Project coordinator Volker Rath made his way directly to Beirut. He describes a destruction that he has rarely seen after disasters. “The tragedy of the picture is almost unbeatable,” he reports. The quarter around the harbour has been destroyed. The detonation caused considerable damage even in more remote districts.

All emergency rooms and operating rooms are overcrowded due to the many injured. Acute emergency treatment was provided free of charge, including by private clinics. Since one hospital had to be evacuated, many patients were distributed to other houses. In the crisis, we stand together!

All apartments near the port and in the surrounding urban area are now uninhabitable – suddenly more than 250,00 people have been made homeless. In addition, the gigantic explosion has completely destroyed large food warehouses. Without help, many people in Lebanon will have to starve.

Lebanon was already on the verge of collapse before this indescribable catastrophe. There are hardly any medicines in the country and no medical care for the population. The currency loses value daily, everything becomes more expensive: for many food, clothes and medicine are not affordable. 2 million refugees from Syria live under the worst conditions. For many needy people in Lebanon the situation will now become even worse.

Aufräumarbeiten, Beirut

Volker Rath: “We brought everything necessary from our warehouse to Beirut, plus everything that we could somehow obtain at short notice. Dressing material, protective masks, tetanus vaccines, disinfectants, suture material, infusions and anaesthetics, because unfortunately some warehouses with medical supplies were also destroyed in the explosion”.

Volker Rath has been working with Cap Anamur for almost 20 years in crisis regions in Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Congo, the Central African Republic and Lebanon.