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Lebanon explosion: Nearly 40 pct of Beirut severely damaged, new assessment shows

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Around 40 percent of Beirut has been severely damaged due the August 4 port explosion, according to an impact assessment report by strategy consulting firm Strategy&.

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The 40-page preliminary report estimates that the blast which killed 181 people and injured thousands of others earlier this month has caused over $20 billion of infrastructural damage. Lebanese President Michel Aoun had previously estimated the damage to exceed $15 billion.

The bulk of infrastructural damage – an estimated $15 billion – was in the port itself, the report states.

Other buildings represent $5 billion worth of damage, and severely damaged hospitals $66 million, according to Strategy&.
A total of 17 hospitals have been damaged, of which four – Saint George, Hopital des Soeurs du Rosaire, Karantina, and Geitawi Hospitals – are non-operational. Beirut’s Saint George Hospital alone requires around $40 million, over half of the report’s total recommended $67 million toward hospitals.

Volunteers clean rubble from the streets following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, in Beirut, Lebanon August 7, 2020. (Reuters)
Volunteers clean rubble from the streets following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, in Beirut, Lebanon August 7, 2020. (Reuters)


Almost 10,000 buildings within a 3 km radius of the blast were damaged, a third of which are now uninhabitable. Of these, 120 schools experienced severe-to-medium damage, affecting 63,000 students and 6,000 teachers and administration staff.

The report also includes results of a survey assessing the needs of the Lebanese affected by the blast.

Over half of respondents were in “urgent need of mental support,” and 16 percent of vulnerable respondents are in “extreme medical need.”

A staggering 92 percent of businesses reported having suffered damage, ranging from moderate glass shattering, to catastrophic and total damage. Half of all businesses have lost a yearly income on repairs and 12 percent of businesses have shut down, according to the report.

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