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Beirut: a wounded city explodes
  1. Julian Maamari,
  2. Najat Fadlallah,
  3. Wassim Jamaleddine
  1. Lebanese American University School of Medicine, Byblos, Lebanon
  1. Correspondence to Najat Fadlallah, Lebanese American University School of Medicine, Byblos 135053, Lebanon; najat.fadlallah{at}

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NF: An intense boom thundered through the city and with it, buildings shook, glass windows shattered and structures collapsed. The ripples could be heard and felt by people living as far as 10 and 20 miles away from the traumatised city.1 Within seconds, dust had covered our apartment floor and wailing could be heard from all over as the building swayed to the rhythm of sirens in the distance.

No one knew what had happened at first. Some thought it was a strong earthquake, others speculated it might be an assassination of an important figure in Beirut, but one thing was for sure, everyone was reeling from the hit.

JM: It was a good day to be far away. Being far away meant assumptions as harmless as an earthquake. At least, that’s what I thought.

I immediately reached out to family and friends, only to learn that a major explosion had rocked the city of Beirut. Hundreds were presumed dead, thousands presumed to be injured. ‘This country cannot catch a …

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