The Gemayzeh, Mar Mikhael and Karantina: here is the epicenter of the “Earthquake”!

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Karantina belongs to Al-Mudawar, and Al-Jumayzah Street and Mar Mikhael are from the Ramil area. However, these areas, which form the first belt of the perimeter of the port, were united in the catastrophe. After the big explosion, all of them turned into disaster-stricken residential areas and neighborhoods, mired in rubble. Roofs fell, homes crumbled, glass flapped everywhere, dust blocked vision, and shrapnel settled in the bodies. Karantina, Gemmayzeh, and Mar Mikhael, yesterday, tried to get a punch that I took. Residents lifted what they could, bodies remained stuck under the rubble, the list of victims was not complete, the wounded and the homeless were distributed, pharmacies were empty of their materials after they were first aid centers, and hospitals were emptied of their patients.In Karantina, the poorest area in the vicinity of the harbor, where the quasi-houses and streets left “on God” and its people, the residents carried their wounds themselves. A displaced Syrian family was lost, “a woman and her two daughters fell on their house, and they started.” Relief teams have not arrived. An eyewitness refers to the wounded by referring to their homes. Injured in this layer, another on this balcony, most of whom did not enter the official statistics lists. Walid, the owner of the shop, was hit in his house after the window fell on him. He could not find a hospital to receive him, “I finally arrived at the Makassed Hospital, there was no place, they pressed my wounds with the plunger while I was standing, and later I cleaned it at home.”
Among the hangars around the harbor, in Karantina, there are houses that are usually hidden from view. It can be searched after passing aggregates and uprooted trees on the roads. Here, the residents themselves, without formal care, are picked up with a number of volunteers from the region. Before the explosion they were single-story semi-houses, and afterwards they were no longer inhabitable. Families hidden in it witnessed the mother of Al-Ain, “Hiroshima”, Lebanon. “I was here on the terrace, I heard the sound first, I saw smoke and fire, may God save us, then the hot air and dust threw me into the house. I flew into the house and took off the door. Above the glass, we rushed to the camp, stumbling on the road. ”This is the story of Um Eli, who works in a cleaning company with minimum wages, and lives with her husband and three children in a humble house between the Hungarians overlooking the harbor, above which Rove flew, forming the home of her son. “Our house went, everything went,” she says, while she collects the remaining supplies stored in the kitchen. While shedding tears, news of a new death reaches her, trapped in the rubble of her neighbors, and she returns to crying.
At the entrance to Gemayzeh, in the direction of downtown Beirut, foreign workers drove up the stakeholders to sweep the rubble and glass. The army deployed to prevent the entry of those without work, while ambulances were caught in a traffic jam, the causes of which were “not understood”. Guru Street has suffered the hardest. Parts of the ancient houses have fallen. Its entrances became rubble. The balcony of one of those houses fell, and “three lives were lost,” according to the 60th resident of the building opposite. The employees of restaurants, cafes and shops, despite the horror they lived through and the shrapnel lodged in their bodies, returned to inspect their workplaces. They guarded it and waited for the owners to count the losses. “Praise be to God, and we are lost.” Someone says, “Occasional, for those who have lost their love.”

In Karantina the inhabitants are recovering themselves without official care, and the semi-houses were no longer habitable

After staying overnight, the residents returned to check them yesterday. They carried suitcases, emptied what they were able to collect from their homes, and dragged it behind them, to where they will stay overnight indefinitely. This is not a war, but its own scenes of displacement, and the Lebanese have become accustomed to managing their affairs in such cases. “We went up to our house with volunteers from the Civil Defense. There is no longer a home. Neither my room nor the salon nor anything. Everything that had to do with the port had fallen, ”says the thirties, who are still in the last floor of a building on Gouraud Street. Her father is wounded, and her aunt in Karantina also hurts her home. You remember the falling blood from “Uncle Joseph and the rest of the wounded. People gathered in the middle of the street for fear of another explosion, they thought it was a gas leak, the smell was indicating that.” .
“This is an earthquake!”, Mukhtar Al-Rumail, Bechara Ghulam, summarizes the scene as he inspects the homes “over 100 years old.” After nearly 40 years of “Mukhtara”, punctuated by battles, wars and destruction, “what I saw is unbelievable; The wounded people in the streets and children, this is an earthquake, ”recounting the names of the victims of the fallen. His wounded brother “arrived at a Zahle hospital, and we did not know where he was.” In Saifi, in the vicinity of the Kataeb building, private security employees wait for “nothing” at the entrances to the surrounding buildings and companies. They tell the scenes of the explosion, and they describe the intensity of the storm that was bombed, and they are the closest surviving eyewitness to the point of the explosion. “A family of four people whose bodies were thrown out of the car on the highway,” says the 50th security man.
“More than a hundred and twenty wounded,” the pharmacist Paul Saqr first attempted to provide them, along with two of his employees, in his pharmacy on the main Jameezah Street. “35 years of pharmacy, during which I did not experience what I saw yesterday, nor during the war, we witnessed a real disaster!” The severe injuries we brought to the hospitals, “In the end, we ran out of all sterilization materials, gauze and ties … nothing was left of us.” On the other side, the workers at the Rosary Sisters Hospital in Gemmayzah (Haddad Hospital) were unloading the remaining medicines and equipment, after the damaged hospital after the explosion-earthquake stopped receiving the injured, and sent the patients who were inmates to their homes.





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