As Lebanon’s government looks for international and domestic solutions to face its current economic crisis, the tragic explosion of the Port of Beirut has added a heavy burden to the country’s already exhausted country.
On Tuesday, a massive blast in Beirut has left at least 100 people dead and more than 4,000 others injured and caused widespread damage that was heard across the city and its suburbs.
The explosion has increased the pain of a country that suffers from a severe economic crisis and severe political polarization, in a scene where regional and international parties overlap.
The Port of Beirut is the largest shipping and clearing point in Lebanon, through which approximately 70% of the incoming and outgoing trade traffic to and from the country passes, according to the port’s website.
In 1887, the port was turned into an organized clearing and shipping port after the Ottoman authority gave the concession of the port to an Ottoman company.
The port is located in a strategic area linking the commercial markets of Asia, Europe and Africa, which reduces the duration of commercial navigation voyages compared to other routes.
The port has a direct connection with 56 ports on the three continents, while receiving and exporting goods in cooperation with 300 other ports worldwide.
In 2018, the Port of Beirut received about 7.05 million tons of goods, representing 72% of the total imports of goods across the sea, compared to exports of nearly one million tons, representing 78% of the total volume of exports.
The port’s data shows that its total revenues during 2019 did not exceed $200 million compared to $313 million in 2018, while revenues did not exceed $90 million in 2005.
In a quick effort by the Lebanese authorities to mitigate the losses, the Supreme Defense Council in Lebanon recommended preparing the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon to secure commercial voyages for imports and exports.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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