Engineers from UK disaster response team SARAID are helping Beirut find stability after this summer’s catastrophic blast. Jason Ford reports.On August 4, 2020 the Lebanese capital of Beirut was rocked by an explosion that could be felt around 150 miles away on the island of Crete.

The blast, which took place in the city’s port area, was caused by the explosion of nearly 3000kg of ammonium nitrate which had been stored in the vicinity for several years.

According to OCHA, the UN’s humanitarian affairs office, nearly 180 people were killed and over 6,000 injured in the blast, which destroyed most of Beirut’s port and surrounding neighbourhoods, leaving thousands homeless. The explosion damaged six hospitals, 20 health clinics and 120 schools.

“The scale of the loss from the Beirut explosions is so vast, it is likely every single person in Lebanon has been touched by this terrible event”, said Najat Rochdi, the UN Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Lebanon.