Disasters & Accidents

Lebanese rebuild their shattered houses by hand

By Isaac J. Martín

Beirut, Aug 12 (efe-epa).- Back and forth in his destroyed home, Elie watches as a friend places concrete blocks to rebuild his kitchen wall which was shattered by the explosion in Beirut’s port.

He has decided to continue to live between the four walls despite the destruction and without any help from the state.

“We are not going to leave this place, we will stay here,” he tells Efe as contracted workers remove rubble from his home.

The flat is located in Karantina, one of Beirut’s worst-hit neighborhoods as it is in front of the port.

Elie is a firefighter and 10 of his colleagues were killed in the blast.

“I could have been there,” he says.

On 4 August, nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that have been stored unsafely at a warehouse exploded, devastating the Lebanese capital.

At least 171 people were killed, more than 6,000 injured and nearly 300,000 have been left homeless, according to Beirut authorities.

The explosion destroyed the walls of Elie’s apartment and his family was injured but did not need to go to hospital.

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