5 August 2020 | From APD – Several Adventist schools and churches were damaged in Beirut, Lebanon, after the severe explosion on Tuesday evening, reports the denomination’s Middle East and North Africa unit (MENA). According to the report, two church buildings, Middle East University, two high schools and a learning center for refugee children have been affected.
According to international news media reports, at least 100 people were killed, more than 4,000 people injured and countless buildings destroyed by a massive explosion that struck the city on August 4. More than 300,000 homeless people are reported. The explosion was felt as far as Cyprus, which is more than 225 kilometers away in the Mediterranean Sea. In Beirut it was registered as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake. According to initial reports, the explosion is believed to be due to a fire in a fireworks warehouse. About 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate could have triggered the explosions, reports the Associated Press (AP) news agency.
In an email, MENA President Rick McEdward wrote: “Our hearts are with the people in Lebanon who have experienced a lot of hardship in recent months. We are committed to doing everything we can to give people hope in this difficult time.” The MENA church leadership is currently assessing the extent of damage to the property of the denomination.
On 6 August the Canada office of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) announced that “the ADRA network is joining together to support the people of Beirut. Our team is already distributing water to those affected and will soon be providing food. The cleanup has also begun. Plans are being made for additional assistance in the days and weeks to come.”
APD is the official news agency for the Adventist Church in parts of German-speaking Europe.