Dear friends, Beirut has now been declared a disaster-stricken city, when a horrifyingly powerful explosion rocked the heart of the city on Tuesday, with 2,750 of tons of ammonium nitrate causing the blasts that were so powerful they were felt more than 150 miles away in Cyprus.
As the casualty toll continues to rise, at least 154 people are confirmed dead and 5,000 injured, with tens of people still missing. Whole sections of the city were leveled, leaving nothing but debris, and resulting in hundreds of thousands of people displaced. The damage is worth billions of dollars, and no words can begin to explain the anguish and pain over the post-apocalyptic scene and the heartbreaking disaster-stricken city.
Thankfully, solidarity built up and all of Lebanon’s NGOs have been working round the clock, among them our constant work to help animals in need, and despite the tragedy, turmoil, anger and frustration, we have teams on the ground searching for the tens of dogs and cats that got extremely distressed at the time of the explosion, and ran away from the shattered glass and broken doors and windows at the time of the blasts.
Some pet guardians were reunited with their pets and other victims’ pets were adopted immediately. We are heartbroken, and our hearts shattered to a million pieces with family members and friends’ lives lost in the explosion, but we need to continue our work. Our long-awaited cat food provider’s container was at the port of Beirut – ground zero – and even though not knowing its destiny is a detail compared to the loss of lives and a whole city, our cats are currently left with barely days to go.
Our shelters were not affected and the animals unharmed, luckily, but we still have to ensure the basic needs of the animals under our care who have endured a lot already. Our country is living a tragedy. We are helpless and in urgent need of international help and support to continue our mission and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Please help us provide food, medical supplies, defleaing and deworming for over 1,000 animals under our care.
The BETA team,
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