BEIRUT— Tuesday marks two weeks since the deadly explosion in Beirut.
Jennifer Coon is a volunteer from Chicago who was in Beirut during the explosions. She has pledged to stay there for the next year. She said help is needed now more than ever.
She was volunteering as a physical therapist when ammonium nitrate stored at a port caused a massive explosion that killed at least 177 and has injured over 6,000 people.
“I was thrown backwards and I heard things starting to fall,” Coon said. “And the building shook violently and my first feeling was ‘we are being bombed.'”
She miraculously escaped her 8th floor unit and has been assisting in the cleanup ever since. In the last two weeks, she has helped clean hospitals and other badly damaged buildings as more of the damage becomes apparent.
The Beirut explosions added to numerous issues Lebanon has faced during Coon’s stay, including rising coronavirus cases and a quick economic downturn.
Last Monday, the Lebanese government resigned in light of the fallout from the explosion.
Coon elaborated on the hardships she’s witnessed in the aftermath including food shortages
“Then there’s the collapse of the currency which lost about 80 percent of its’ value,” she said.
Coon said that her choice to remain in Beirut is due to her occupation as a physical therapist, as she is committed to helping the thousands injured in the blast rehabilitate.
In the explosion’s aftermath, nine FBI agents arrived in Lebanon to help with the investigation of the port explosion, while Lebanon’s Chief of Customs was formally arrested Monday.
For information on donations or volunteering log on to the WorldVenture website.