August 4, 2020 started as a normal day in Beirut, Lebanon.
Suddenly at 18.09pm, a powerful explosion had sent a huge orange fireball into the sky, followed by a massive shock wave that overturned cars, damaged buildings and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.
Lebanese authorities say that the explosion was caused by a fire in a warehouse where 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer, had been stored for 6 years at the port.
This massive explosion resulted in at least 180 deaths, 6,000 injuries, and US$10–15 billion in property damage, leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. The devastation, considered to be one of the largest industrial accidents involving explosive chemicals, overwhelmed the country already struggling with both the coronavirus pandemic and a severe economic and financial crisis.
In the aftermath, NGOs and volunteers hand in hand are working tirelessly picking up the pieces of a shattered city.
College Notre Dame de Nazareth, a 150 years old institution, located in Beirut suffered from the blast as well. Thank God there were no fatalities or injuries on the campus. The explosion happened in the evening when the campus was largely empty.
The property suffered badly: the blast broke the windows of the buildings, stripped off their doors, destroyed their internal rooms and aluminum inside. Most of the classrooms are destroyed and have to be rebuilt to receive the students in less than a month.
Upon assessing the situation, Sister Magida Fhaily and a team of experts assessed the value of the damages to 1.180.000 USD.
Through GoFundme, we are calling for donations in order to be able to open the school again. continue our mission and welcome the students.
Thanking you in advance!
Notre Dame de Nazareth Support Group
Testimonial of Sister Magida, Principal of the school:
On August 11th, the French Civil Security were sent by the French embassy to do an appraisal. They insured us that the building’s structure of all the buildings was undamaged (intact) but the damages, in all the buildings, are massive.
Without immediate help, we will not be able to reopen the school – something we did not even do during the Civil War. Knowing the school was hit by the scattered explosions, everything was shattered and destroyed.
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