On August 4, a massive explosion ripped through Beirut, Lebanon. The powerful explosion - believed to have occurred in a warehouse storing thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate - registered as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake in Beirut, and was felt as far as Cyprus. Reports state the blast has killed at least 100 people, injured 4,000 and displaced 300,000 people. International Medical Corps is on the ground in Beirut and has launched an emergency response to address surging health needs.
The explosion has killed at least 100 people and left over 4,000 injured. An estimated 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes, which have been damaged or destroyed. Hospital emergency departments are overwhelmed and struggling to provide care, especially as power outages interrupt services. Further complicating response efforts, COVID-19 was already straining the health system, as has an economic crisis affecting millions throughout the country for much of the past year.
International Medical Corps' team has launched an emergency response to address needs as a result of the explosion. We are coordinating with the government and other responders to quickly provide surge capacity to stretched hospitals and health facilities in Beirut. Our teams are mobilizing urgently needed supplies and deploying staff from unaffected health facilities to hospitals caring for patients. We are also preparing to support mental health needs for those affected by this emergency.
International Medical Corps began operating in Lebanon in 2006 and has played a key role providing relief to people affected by crisis in the years since. Today, International Medical Corps' health, mental health, and gender-based violence prevention and response activities address the needs of refugees and vulnerable Lebanese host communities. Across activities, training is core to our work, building local capacity to address needs long-term.