02 Dec 2020 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
UAE: Public holidays announced for National Day, Commemoration DayCoronavirus: UAE reports 1,491 Covid-19 cases, 1,826 recoveries, no deathsUAE health alert: Can you cope with masks for long hours? Should mask breaks be introduced?Breaking: UAE lifts all movement restrictionsLife after COVID-19: Retail Industry witnesses shift towards e-commerce globallyCOVID-19 impact: Yes, it’s time for Dubai business to restartCOVID-19 response: DIFC to gradually reopen businesses from WednesdayCOVID-19 response: DIFC to gradually reopen businesses from WednesdayDubai 22K gold price touches Dh200 a gram for first time in nine yearsCoronavirus: UAE announces 624 new cases, 11 deathsCOVID-19: UAE announces 462 new casesCoronavirus: UAE announces 549 new cases, 9 deathsSmall group of employees behind fraud at NMC Health, says B.R. ShettyCOVID 19: UAE announces 4 deaths, 518 new coronavirus cases and 91 recoveriesUAE announces 490 new coronavirus cases, three deathsCoronavirus: UAE announces 432 new Covid-19 cases on WednesdayCovid-19: UAE announces 300 new cases of coronavirusCOVID-19: Disinfection drive extended to 24 hours in DubaiUAE announces recovery of two new coronavirus patientsPanasonic CEO vows to ‘eradicate’ money-losing businessesEmirates to carry over 6,500 passengers to Dubai for Amway’s largest leadership gatheringTrading of Emirates NBD Bank’s rights issue to take place this NovemberSelling pressure on Emaar drags DFM 1.3% lowerEmirates NBD hires Standard Chartered's Patrick Sullivan as CFOWorld Bank chief asks India to reform financial sectorEarly settlement charges on home loans in UAE reducedBreast Cancer Awareness: How to do a self-exam and why it is a mustDFM surges 4.8 percentageas Emirates NBD hikes foreign stakes limitMcDonald’s enlists Alexa and Google to help with its hiring84-year-old Indian man goes skydiving in DubaiUAE in Space: Have questions for Hazza on the ISS?Indian minister seeks direct flight between Bhubaneswar and DubaiExpo 2020 dome now complete, marking new milestone for UAEEmirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri undergoes final test as lift-off nearsSoftBank triples net profit in Q1Microsoft 'listens' to conversations, but only with permissionChina warns India of ‘reverse sanctions’ if Huawei is blockedStocks, oil edge higher as trade-war panic easesTens of thousands losing jobs as India's auto crisis deepensSerena again tops Forbes list of highest-paid sports womenDubai equity traders get a reason to cash out ahead of holidaysRight time to invest? UAE equities attractive on low valuations, positive indicatorsIndian rupee hits 19.21 vs UAE dirhamHumid and dusty weather in UAE until Eid weekendHeathrow airport strike: Emirates issues travel advisoryEid Al Adha 2019: Four-day holiday in UAEEid Al Adha to be celebrated on August 11 in UAENissan, Renault eye restructuring for Fiat merger: report Nissan controls 15 per cent and has no voting rights in Renault

Lebanon blast: Half of Beirut destroyed or damaged; toll crosses 135

The UAE, one of the first nations to declare solidarity, dispatched emergency medical assistance.

Half a city destroyed in a massive explosion that many likened to the atomic blasts that ripped through Hiroshima in Japan 75 years ago on August 6. More than 135 dead, 300,000 homeless, 5,000 injured and being treated in hospitals. Hundreds reportedly missing. Scenes of mourning, despair and hopelessness. It's raining misery in Beirut this summer, a city once known as the Paris of the Middle East.
Marwan Abboud, governor of the city, said the damage is extensive and estimated that it could take $10-15 billion to put Beirut and its people back on their feet again.

"A team of engineers and experts will assess the structural damage in the port area of the city in the coming days," he said even as people struggled to come to grips with this tragedy amid the pandemic.

The UAE, one of the first nations to declare solidarity, dispatched emergency medical assistance.

Almost half of Beirut has been destroyed or damaged because of the explosion at a warehouse in the port area where 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored. Questions are being raised on who stored the chemical, and for what purpose. Residents are also asking what sparked it off.

Ambulances and rescue teams are still at the scene of the blast, searching for survivors and carrying bodies away. People are still trapped in houses, especially in Karantina and Gemayzeh, and official said the toll could rise.

Worse, several hospitals near the blast site have been damaged which is making it hard to treat patients. There is a danger that the structures could collapse.

The St George hospital in Achrafieh has been completely destroyed and only the shell of the building remains. Many members of medical staff as well as firefighters' lost their lives during the explosion.

Health Minister Hassan Hamad recently announced a second lockdown because of the increase in Covid-19 cases, and desperate people are now carrying the sick and maimed to hospitals as morgues fill up with corpses.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron, in a show of solidarity with the people of Lebanon, said he would visit the city today.

Earlier, President Michel Aoun said ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years at the port without adequate safety measures.

"The government is determined to investigate what happened as soon as possible," he said.

Officials blamed "inaction and negligence" by authorities who allowed the storage of the combustible chemical in the port area.

The cabinet ordered port officials involved in storing the material to be put under house arrest.