BEIRUT, LEBANON — A thick cloud of smoke, screams and shaky camera footage is what thousands saw on social media Tuesday after a horrifying explosion in Beirut, which killed at least 135 people and injured more than 5,000, but reports say the death toll could be more.
Informational graphics have made its way around social media, specifically Instagram, to show users how they can lend a hand and show support, even if they are overseas.
Here are five ways to help.
5. Lebanese Red Cross
— Lebanese Red Cross (@RedCrossLebanon) August 4, 2020
Since the massive blast, more than 75 ambulances have been providing aid and transporting victims to local hospitals. BBC News reported rescue workers are still frantically searching for dozens of people who have gone missing after the explosion.
An online donation link to the Lebanese Red Cross can be found here. Updates are also posted on the organization’s Twitter.
4. Food Relief
Tuesday’s explosion also tore through a grain store, which normally holds 120,000 worth of supplies. But the Lebanese government said the storage unit was mostly empty and now they have about six weeks worth of wheat, Bloomberg reported.
This adds another blow to the country’s economic crisis because it “relies on privately-owned mills to ship wheat from Ukraine, Russia and other European countries,” according to Bloomberg.
Donations for the Lebanese Food Bank can be found here.
The blast destroyed not only the food port, but a huge chunk of the capital as well. Beirut is home to two million people.
Just Giving: Impact Lebanon is raising £20,000 (1 U.S. dollar ~ £1,511.84) to help shelter those affected by the explosion. The campaign is over £7,000 its goal, but the donation link is still open and can be found here.
Funds will be used to help those who lost their homes or were damaged and will also pay for hotel fees or apartment renting, according to the organization.
2. Save The Children
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After a devastating explosion in #Beirut, children and families—already facing COVID-19, as well as an economic and political crisis—are more vulnerable than ever. ⠀ ⠀ We are on the ground ready to support the urgent needs of children but we need your help. Tap the link our bio to donate.
Prior to the explosion and ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Lebanese economy has been on the edge, especially after the devaluation of the Lebanese pound.
A Syrian refugee in Lebanon told The Telegraph in June that he only has an equivalent of $66 to spend on food for his family. Milk for his kids now costs around $33; a bag of rice for $10; sugar for $8. This used to last his family 10 days, but now it lasts two, The Telegraph reported.
Save The Children has launched a Lebanese children’s relief fund, which can be found here.
Social media has gifted users to spread news with no cost and in a matter of seconds.
Instagram accounts like CHANGE has been actively informing others of social justice issues, disasters and ways to help.
According to Our World in Data, at least 3.5 billion people are online across the globe. There are 7.7 billion people in the world. Sharing news can “maintain relationships” and “change others’ attitudes,” a Western University study found.