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We were 600 meters away from the blast walking peacefully in the popular Beirut street Mar Mikhael. The scale of the explosion was surreal [1]. I hugged my sister and thought it’s our last moment. We miraculously survived with only a few scratches. Ten days have passed and there’s not a single minute I don’t think of what happened and emulate different scenarios where I could’ve died. I also work at the most affected hospital that became instantly non-operational and had to be evacuated with over 17 patients, staff, and visitors dead [2].

Please consider donating [3].

[1] https://youtu.be/SkIYjNGiaoA

[2] https://youtu.be/JIxuwE_WPXw

[3] https://www.stgeorgehospital.org/stgeorge-donation




I had a similar personal reaction after getting into a high speed car crash (mechanical failure of my car, while traveling at 70 mph on the highway. Entered a spin, slid off the road, did at least one complete roll). 8 years later, I still sometimes think of all the ways the crash could have gone differently that would have resulted in my death.

If I was going a little faster, my car could have ended up in the irrigation ditch and caused me to drown. The 220 lb combat robot in the trunk it could have killed me during the tumble (it tore through its straps and ripped through the back seats into the car). If I had a passenger, the only part of the roof that wasn't crushed in was the driver. A passenger could've easily been killed.

The result was a few superficial injuries (bruises from seatbelt and airbag system). Unscathed otherwise. Woke up thinking the car was on fire (was smoke from airbag) and crawled out. Walked down the street to find my phone (it was in my backpack which flew out a window during the crash) and called for an ambulance.

These are natural human reactions, but the sad truth is that many of the things in our lives come down to luck. You can only do so much to make your environment safer. I, for one, have never transported another one of those combat robots inside my vehicle.

edit - 220 pound combat robot, not 300.


It's interesting how different people react to things like this. I went off the road and my car rolled and smashed into a concrete barrier upside down, squishing every part but where I was sitting. I wasn't afraid at any time, immediately before, during, or after. The concussion was rough and I had a lot of suicidal ideation going on in the next few days, though, for no real reason³. I genuinely cannot believe the person I was in the next few weeks. Some sort of total sap.

But I don't really think about it anymore and I don't carry it with me as anything more than a memory of an incident. Objectively, minor changes to circumstances could have led to my death, but contemplating that brings me no fear or anger.

This reminds me of the fact that most soldiers going through combat don't actually get PTSD¹. Even among those seeing horrific things it's not that high².

It's not a tough vs weak thing, imho, just an accident of how we are. I didn't do very much to be 184 cm. I didn't do very much to have functioning lungs. I didn't do very much to walk away from a car crash and be suicidal for two weeks and then have no adverse effects after.

¹ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2891773/

² https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/why-some-...

³ My life was fine, no one else was hurt, and I had a slightly strained calf. The desire for suicide was not driven by reason.


> This reminds me of the fact that most soldiers going through combat don't actually get PTSD¹.

The meme that people exposed to stressful events (traumatic events) get sick needs to die. It is perpetuated by psychologists but has no rooting in facts. Humans are built to be resilient, only a single-digit percentage of people exposed to traumatic events develop PTSD. Your experience is, luckily, the norm.

https://twitter.com/degenrolf/status/1191619250647183366?s=2...


Single digits is pretty bad, when you deal with thousands and more. Which applies both to combat and to accidents.

Order-of-magnitude comparison, gay people are also low single digit.

But yes, I agree a bit more scope sensitivity is in order.


This is the kind of comment I enjoy on here. Thank you for sharing your human experience. I am not sure when the idea of nature/nurture will be put to rest, I have accepted it but it also has very strange philosophical ideas, like the idea of how laws are made making assumptions about humans, but what if the humans are not knowledgeable or understand what they are doing, or have different values? We already have laws for disabled or other classes of humans, and also temporarily insane. This brings up very interesting points on how equality is not equal, how laws are complex for the purpose of gaming them by those of higher intelligence or memory of obscure facts.

Genetics has a lot to do with who we are, our race/looks, height, thoughts/intelligence even. Yet many cling to the idea that nurture can overcome nature. Our mtDNA and Y chromosome is the hardware our consciousness runs on. Just the way we are, not a strong or a weak thing you say, there are mutations in us, some are beneficial, some are good/bad, but I disagree, of course some are weak or objectively bad. Hotwheels from 8chan made a good post about how he doesn't like his existence and would support euthanasia for people like himself. I doubt anyone would want to be born with tay-sachs, and when you say not strong/weak you may be using a surviorship bias to say it, although most humans are on average quite healthy.

I was originally going to post how I had the opposite reaction to an event like this like you, a car crash when I lost control in the rain, thinking I was about to die. I didn't and I was mostly fine aside from some back pain from whiplash. I have aphatasia, do you happen to have it? I have a bad memory so I don't think people with it can get PTSD, so it is an adaptive mechanism, although I lose a lot of richness in thought I suppose I have been through really bad things with no problems, had a gun pointed at me, demanded my stuff, and I said no, he was confused and didn't really know what to do, I left. I didn't really think much of it but others thought it was crazy. No PTSD either.


I too enjoyed Teknoman117's and renewiltord's contrasting slice-of-life anecdotes about near-death experiences. It's neat to get this kind of insight into human nature.

But I really don't understand the need to make up a bunch of strange commentary (nature/nurture, temporary insanity, equality not equal, genetics, euthanasia, etc.) that either doesn't really have a point, or beats around the bush so much with vague language it's not even possible to tell what the point is. I suppose English isn't your first language, and that's fine, but I'm sure you realize even talking about genetics is a mine-field.

I also specifically want to consider your casually-mentioned phrase: "laws are complex for the purpose of gaming them". To my thinking mind, this is a throw-away accusation that really has no standing in actual fact. Yes, laws can be complex. Yes, regulatory capture exists. Yes, people game "the system" all the time. But all three together implies some highly unlikely turn of events, given that it is contradictory (why would a self-serving law be so complex that it can only be taken advantage of with added difficulty). Even if this unlikely convergence has happened, it cannot be a pattern because it is rare--and the unspoken conclusion would be "conspiracy." Your first 2 paragraphs contain a lot of illogical and unfounded assertions like this, with vague conclusions that are outside of normal discourse, and I find it hard to take any of it seriously.


"laws are complex for the purpose of gaming them"

Would saying simpler laws that everyone can understand and obey be better? That was the thing I agreed with but my friend, doing tax tricks and making more money when unemployed, as well as lawyers who get people off serious crimes are adept at finding loopholes because law is confusing.

If you aren't smart you aren't going to get good legal advice you have to understand the implications. It is clear that is what happens in courts to many people. If there is a simple Wikipedia for people to use, why is there no simple laws for those who aren't lawyers to understand?


Interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed reading your story. Sorry about your memory and aphantasia.

> I have aphantasia, do you happen to have it?

Nope, I'm completely fine. The only thing is that for months afterwards I couldn't head the ball in my weekly soccer game, so I had to give it up. I still kick it around with my friends, but I can't compete in rec because a centre-back has to head the ball, so I don't. I was comparatively advantaged in the air, so that sucks, but c'est la vie, right?


To be clear, aphantasia is not a symptom. People are "perfectly fine" that have it. We just don't see things without our eyes open. If that makes sense. And, I believe, most of us have been this way our whole lives.


Do you dream?

I first learnt about aphantasia maybe a couple of years ago in some corners of the net.. I can’t really imagine how it’s possible that you don’t see stuff with your mind.. To me it seems just as strange as being unable to speak while having a perfectly fine voice..

I probably have the opposite problem, when I read a book that I like I’m completely lost in that world and I’m kind of unaware of what is happening in the real world.

I remember when I had an EEG ages ago and the technician asked me to relax, and I did exactly that. He must have noticed something strange since he asked me if I was sleeping..


I remember dreams. I don't remember seeing things in them, per se. Just like I remember yesterday, but couldn't visualize anything.

Easiest way to relate it is I will recognize people well. But if you asked me cold to tell you what someone's hair color was, I'm unlikely to be able to. (Now, if someone is notable for having a color hair, I can remember that as a fact. But I have to specifically remember it as one.)


How can you remember something you forgot could be rephrased as how can you forget something if you remembered! My experience is the same, the dreams are like a story a kaleidoscope of things that happened and ideas rather than visual memories


Are you interested in changing it? I don't know if there is a PM option here, but I had good success with using tACS for other reasons and it had the side effect of restoring my mental vision for a few things. I haven't used it in a while so it's possible that it is temporary.


I'm not entirely sure, all told. I don't see it as much of a handicap for me, just a bit of how I remember things. That said, I'm almost always willing to try things.

Any reason not to just have the conversation in the open?


Ah, okay. No judgment of your wellness intended.


No worries, just making sure you don't dismiss it as "something wrong with you." Entirely plausible you could be this way and just not realize it is notable.


So... people without Y chromosome are only half-conscious?


What was that about a 300-pound combat robot?


Got the weight wrong. It was a 220 pound robot for the heavyweight class in Robogames. I was driving between my university campus and the campus extension in the next town when the crash happened.


Wow that is a good reminder to secure my robots when driving... a deer jumped out in front of me recently and I had to hit the brakes hard. Luckily didn’t have my robot in the car. As a fellow Robogames competitor I’m glad you made it out of that crash!


You should secure everything in your car.

If you crash into something going only 50 kilometres per hour, things that are the same weight as your average smartphone will have enough force on impact to kill you.


In a dead stop, maybe, but a car isn't likely to be stopped dead.

I've been told on motorcycle hazard awareness courses that if your body hits a solid object at 50 kph, it's 50% mortality risk - it's enough deceleration force to rupture your aorta. Take something like a sign post to the chest and you'll be lucky to survive.


> In a dead stop, maybe, but a car isn't likely to be stopped dead.

I guess it depends on the kind of accident.

In a head-on collision or if you run into a tree/concrete wall, that's pretty close to being stopped dead.

In the more common rear end or "T" collisions, probably not.


If you hit a tree or concrete wall, you still have crumple zones that slow you down over a short period of time.


But the crumple zones don't help the objects (now projectiles) flying about your car. The crumple zones will finishing crumpling around the same time that something sitting on the rear deck of your car will hit you in the back of the head at 50 kph.

The original point was about unsecured objects in the car becoming deadly.


Of course they do. They decrease the rate of deceleration.

Whether it's enough to make a difference, we should make calculations. I'd expect 50kph is where marginal increases in mortality start to become larger, so it wouldn't take much to reduce harm, I believe.


Crumple zones decrease the acceleration of your body, but don't do anything to the acceleration af objects placed on the rear shelf of your car, assuming negligible friction on the rear shelf of your car. Plenty of people get injured in accidents by kleenex boxes placed on that rear deck of their car.

You're travelling at 50 kpm (let's call it 14 m/s). You strike a brick wall. The cell phone on the rear deck of your car flies off the rear deck with minimally deceleration before it leaves the rear deck, travelling 14 m/s through mid-air. Let's make a linearizing approximation and say your body is stopped in 0.8m with constant acceleration. Let's assume the phone started out 1.5m behind your head. By the time your head is stopped by the crumple zone, the phone has travelled 1.6 m, meaning the phone is still 0.7 m behind your head, still travelling 14 m/s (50 kph).

Granted, there are a bunch of simplifying assumptions here (linear deceleration via crumpling, frictionless rear shelf, zero air resistance), but it shows there are plenty of realistic scenarios where something placed on the rear shelf of your car strikes you in the head only minimally slower than the speed at which you were driving.


Not a week ago on a road somewhere in the eastern part of Europe: A dumptruck with in its bin a 100KW genset, secured with a little piece of rope. Needless to say I gave it a very wide berth and hung well behind. An accident with that rig would have serious consequences even with the load secured, without that it is too dangerous to be in traffic, let alone on a two lane highway.


Huh. Fighting robots in car trunks seem to be more common than I realized.


Well my robot is an explorer:

https://reboot.love/t/new-cameras-on-rover/


That's a beast. Nice work!


Thank you!


Lots of good memories from Robogames. I had first read about it in Servo magazine when I lived on the east coast as a kid. My family ended up moving to California when I was in high school and I was a regular attendee from that point on. I entered robomagellan regularly during college (except the one year the university's club entered the heavyweight combat robot competition). After college I ended up moving to Orange County and didn't attend much.

Sad to see that it ended.


Well for some throwback memories I have some old TechTV coverage of Robogames 2005 of my YouTube channel. I’m the kid with bleached blonde hair in the video.

https://youtu.be/J2R-TlBomnQ


TechTV was amazing.


Short Circuit movie remake ?


Remake? Number 5 is alive!


Morbid thought: Google Street View right now almost certainly has a 360 panorama of the location of your death. An intersection, a highway, a hospital, somewhere. That panorama will someday be filled with sadness for your loved ones. But you don't get to know its coordinates just yet.


2005's Lord of War, staring Nick Cage and Jared Leto, has a great quote similar to this. I'll bungle it, because I can't find the exact line but it goes like:

"Yuri, every single person has a bullet waiting for them; trying to find them. The trick to life, Yuri? Before that bullet finds you, find a way to die."

The opening sequence to that film is also superb film-making. A set-up, a mid point, and a twist ending, all in three minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LUEiKs2UAo&feature=emb_titl...


Such an underrated film. And before the decline of Cage.


Nick is Schrödinger's actor. He is both terrible and fantastic all at once. His roles are either garbage or masterclass, there seems to be no middle ground.


Yes, it's confounding that movies like "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Raising Arizona" coexist with a ton of hot garbage he's been involved with.

No judgement for him, a guy has to make a living. I imagine he finds the situation amusing. His 2013 movie "Joe" is really good if you need something new to watch: https://m.imdb.com/title/tt2382396/


Tip: Announcing a twist ending ruins it.


It's a twist ending to the first five minutes of the film.


Still. I watched the 5-minute clip just expecting "the twist". Then when it happened, it had less impact because I was anticipating something different or "twistier". Had OP not announced the twist, that last shot might have actually surprised me.


2005


We're living in the 2020 time warp. Entertainment-wise, everything from the beginning of film has been simultaneously smeared and crushed into this one year.


Statistically, it's usually a hospital, nursing home, or your own home. So you may already know the three most likely coordinates, if you're old enough that you aren't moving again.


That’s why I avoid hospitals. Guy is perfectly alive, taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.


On the flipside, my father passed away this time last year and his favourite pub the month after. We looked it up on Google Streetview recently and there he was, immortalised stood out front of the pub with a pint in hand.


That doesn't apply to ML-370 unfortunately


When I was in high school, I was at school camping event and we were playing tag in the woods. I ran down a slope and tripped, and fell chest first onto a log, right on my sternum. I was uninjured, but since then I've always thought, "what if there were a broken tree branch right there, it would have punctured my heart and I would have died very quickly." I'm almost 50 now, so we're talking over 30 years I've been thinking about that tree log and the branch stub that could have killed me.


This was a great reminder to secure objects and keep them in the trunk/boot whenever possible.


Yep. I did not use straps of the proper strength and it ripped through the back seats (it was in my trunk). I had a '06 Saturn Ion and the rear seats could be folded down to make more space in the trunk. They were in their normal position, but the force of them being hit my the robot must've broken the latches.


Unfortunately with the immense popularity of SUVs in the US, a lot of people no longer have trunks/boots that are isolated from the rest of the cabin.

I was in a 40-mph crash last year with a large old CRT in my SUV. It shot forward from the back and crashed into the dashboard but if the car had rolled, like yours did...who knows


> mechanical failure of my car

That's scary. What was the failure if you don't mind me asking?


Front passenger control arm. Basically the suspension collapsed and planted that corner of the car into the road.


Had the same happen to me when I was younger and drove a BMW 525i. It happened in a corner where the car basically just spun and did a 360. I managed to limp home as the car was sort of drivable still.


> The 300 lb combat robot in the trunk

Please explain?


I didn't quite remember the weight properly. It was a 220 pound robot for the heavyweight class in Robogames. I was driving between my university campus and the campus extension in the next town when the crash happened.


I think it was the exact weight of the combat robot that elicited the curiosity :)


It was a university robotics club project, I had mainly remembered it was the highest weight class.

I mostly worked on the electronics (my personal main gig was robomagellan), the others were more interested in the welding. I got it crossed with he superheavies from BattleBots.


You mean that you had a "combat robot" in the trunk? What exactly is a combat robot? Custom-built by you?


what part failed on the car?


Control arm on the front passenger wheel. That corner planted into the road and threw the car into a spin.


Was it the control arm or the control arm ball-joint? Did you have any warning, i.e. was your suspension really loose?

This is something you should have noticed under normal circumstances.


It was used and deemed to be from damage the car had taken in an accident prior to us buying it. We knew it was involved in an accident previously, but it was supposed to have been professionally repaired (we got it from a Ford dealership iirc).

As far as anyone could tell post crash, the control arm had broken through, rather than coming loose.


You got super lucky. That's the kind of failure that can kill you easily by throwing you into oncoming traffic.


That's terrifying. Was this a Certified used vehicle or just a random on the lot?


Most factory CPO programs exclude accident vehicles (beyond simple bumper cover resprays from incompetent parallel parkers).


That's what I thought, guessing this wasn't certified. I put a lot of trust in certification programs. Also I should mention as a counterpoint to a "wrecked car" I have a "wreck" on my 2019 that didn't do anything but scratch my bumper while totaling the other car (8mph impact but steel bumpers) and has plummeted my trade in $8k.. sucks. I didn't even claim any insurance work or anything on it.

I wonder if I can somehow get that removed if I take it to get checked out at a frame shop, it's a brand new Jeep and this going to follow it everywhere. I don't recall ever hearing about people removing wrecks, though. Not trying to title-wash but prove that it's fine for the next buyer.


I honestly don't remember at this point.


It's always a good idea to thoroughly examine every detail of a used car before trusting it at high speeds on a highway. Sounds like it might have been quite difficult to detect this particular problem though if it was a barely visible hairline crack that just got worse over time. scary.


Not him but maybe as a uni student he was driving a crappy car that had problems before, more bad things happen to people without reliable hardware.


I am not indicating fault. I drove a $1500 car for 4-5 years.

Just wondering if the issue could have been prevented. Loose balljoints are notoriously hard to diagnose, since they are supposed to have movement and it's hard to distinguish "play" and "movement".

A ball joint popping out of the steering knuckle is probably one of the most critical failures your car can have. Hard to think of anything worse.

Even if your brakes all locked up at the same time, it would probably be safer, since there is less chance to immediately flip the car.


sounds like a scout or a sapper?


You actually did die, we've been waiting to tell you. This is your third reality, you died back in 2003 also.


I wish you a speedy physical and metal recovery. Please consider getting counseling as there is a good chance you might experience symptoms of PTSD and early therapy after a traumatic experience can be a lot more effective than similar work down the line.


Thank you for your kind words. The hospital's psychiatry department already setup a nearby clinic for free support to all healthcare workers.


> there is a good chance you might experience symptoms of PTSD and early therapy after a traumatic experience

i think massive traumatic events also result in a kind of PTSD at the level of population, and unfortunately there is not much we know what to do with it.

Couple other notes. The conspiracy theory is that the Mozambique destination was just a cover, and the AN was intended for Hezbollah. The Hezbollah affiliated company tried to buy the arrested AN, and failing that, Hezbollah was also stealing that AN which was conveniently stored in an unguarded warehouse with broken door and a hole in the fence walls - for years despite numerous alarms raised by various people/agencies.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-tv-hezbollah-apparently...

Also interesting that AN seemed to be Nitroprill as seen on the photo in the article (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EeowoGhVoAM2_zs?format=jpg&name=...) - googling shows that it is a bit more stable form of AN.


>i think massive traumatic events also result in a kind of PTSD at the level of population, and unfortunately there is not much we know what to do with it.

I read The Body Keeps The Score and tried EMDR after that. It changed the memory of finding my dad's body after his suicide. It's a much less intense memory now because I remember it differently in a way that doesn't make me feel so abandoned.

Trauma can be healed.


In Texas City 35 years after the disaster it was nothing like the rest of Texas.

They partied like there was no tomorrow, almost like they were in California and were going to be wiped out by an earthquake any minute or something.

The cultural anomaly could be seen to have evolved from a scale of disaster not shared by other nearby industrial communities.

For a person in their 20's Galveston was a fun beach resort, Gilley's was a spectacle in itself, Austin was a great college town, but Texas City was wild.


An odd thing that spelling, "Nitroprill," as Orica's commercial prilled AN specifically for coal mining is spelled "Nitropril," with a single "l."

Although Nitropril has stabilizers for resistance to breakdown in storage it has no quieting agents for its actual explosive effect as does most fertilizer-grade AN.


You lost me the moment you referenced TimeOfIsrael for a news about Hezbollah!


you can google it and easily find other sources. In general, if you think about it - Hezbollah is one of the forces controlling the Beirut port, and is known to use AN to produce missiles and explosives.

https://www.revyuh.com/news/politics/corruption-hezbollah-ki...

"After the ship Rhosus was detained in the port of Beirut, “the owner of the ship disappeared with his money, and the alleged buyers in Mozambique showed no movement,” the then captain of the ship Boris Prokoshev told Radio Liberty.

German tabloid Bild believes that this may indicate that the supply of goods to Africa was only a pretext for delivering explosives to the reach of Hezbollah, a Shiite paramilitary group supported by Iran.

An insider told Bild that the refusal to authorize the shipment or sale of the shipment may have been an act of civil disobedience to prevent the shipment from entering Hezbollah."


> Radio Liberty

Sure! Fake news has no limit.


Luck plays a huge role in our lives.

In my limited experience with traumatic situations, talking with people, especially people who have dealt with similar experiences, can help to temper the psychological impact. For now, though, just hang in there. Things can get better.


Speaking of luck, the Formula 3 crash involving Sophia Floersch is one of the craziest displays of luck I can think of.

All of it documented here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/formula-1/2020/04/23/sophia-floe...


There are a lot of very lucky people after that disaster. Thanks for the link.


Luck has a huge role in how we were created as well. Think of the all the permutations in atoms since the big bang and the probability of you even existing.


And all the mutations in DNA as well to produce a living breathing thinking human being! Indeed we are all incredibly lucky.


   "Life is quite strange
   Life is quite weird,
   Life is really 
   quite odd.
   Life from a star 
   is far more bizarre,
   Than an old bearded bloke 
   they call God.
   So gaze at the sky, 
   and start asking why
   You're even here on this ball.
   For though life is fraught
   The odds are so short
   You're lucky to be here 
   at all"
(Galaxy DNA Song / Eric Idle)


infinity is an interesting thing. Every combination of thing that can be, will be and has been. The probability of not existing is zero.


Not true. 'Possible things' and 'impossible things' are two separate categories, and you can have an infinity of one that doesn't include the other.

For another example of separate infinities, consider the set of integers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5...) and the set of integers-plus-one-half (1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5...). Both are infinite, but don't contain the other.


I am always amazed at how people can hold this thought, considering the billions of lucky moments that would have had to go right over the eons, at the same time as one that demands diligence and deliberateness in planning and executing on those things in our lives and the world in order to make meaningful and successful progress every minute of every day


You seem to be underestimating the vastness of time throughout the entirety of the universe's existence. There's been far more time in the existence of the universe during which these things didn't happen than the time it took them to happen. If this all measurably happened immediately after the universe's inception, sure, intelligent design seems more likely. But that's simply not the case - the opposite of this all happening is it simply not happening, which was already the case at one point and occupied immensely more time and space before now than that of "existence" as you and I know it.


If the alternative is believing that some chap is orchestrating it and actually intended for my car keys to fall down that tiny hole in the deck because it would ultimately be a meaningful success, no thanks.


I may be reading you wrong, but this strikes me as a straw man argument - there's a lot of space between the idea of intelligent design (which may be implied by a statement of how improbable non-intelligent creation of sentient life would be) and a complete abdication of free will (which is how I read your comment). Am I misinterpreting your point?


I interpreted the original point as championing intelligent design, but maybe I’m wrong and I’m missing something?


Indeed for luck... Things are already better thanks to our community and supportive friends and family. Thank you.


I always heard the phrase: "I'd rather be lucky than good." growing up and the older I get, the more I realize just how true it is.


EMDR also


I'm sorry that you had to go through this.

Is your house damaged? News reports showed several buildings which didn't bore the direct brunt of the blast have become structurally weakened by the shockwaves and that there are less chances that those buildings would be repaired.

If you are living in such a building, it would be wise to move away to a safer building far away if possible.


Thank you. My house is 4km away and didn't sustain any damage. However other buildings within the same range had their glass shattered. The blast was even heard in Cyprus (234 km). NASA's ARIA team mapped the likely extent of damage: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-maps-beirut-blast-dama...

I also went up to the hospital's helipad today and can see the massive crater in direct sight: https://imgur.com/FAtIo4F


Glad that your house didn't suffer damage.

Supposedly, more than 70,000 building have been damaged[1].

The news report also mentions that there is trouble withdrawing money from the banks and that the funds don't reach people. Can you please confirm that the hospital donation link can accept international funds and that the funds really reach to those who need it?

[1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyEvcmQ8ObA


True, thousands were left homeless. This disaster could not have occurred at a worse time for Lebanon. Hospitals are already at their maximum capacities due to the COVID-19, and the country is in an unprecedented economic crisis... The donations will go primarily into rebuilding the hospital in order to serve the community again. If the donation by card does not work, please consider using the bank account wire transfer (Outside of Lebanon IBAN).


The St Georges hospital is doing God's work as are you. A wonderful institution that's stood there for 100+ years and will keep standing for 100+ more. Thank you for sharing your story and the links.


Sorry for the traumatic experience.

In case you can get in touch with the operators of the website, it could be helpful to let them know that it's common in Germany (and likely elsewhere) for people to avoid entering their credit card information on most websites due to security/privacy concerns. Being able to pay through trusted intermediaries (like PayPal) would make it more likely for people to make a donation.


Unfortunately PayPal is not supported in Lebanon. We are trying to setup a GoFundMe campaign (also not supported) through an international intermediary.


Paypal trusted? I can't think of anything less trusted around here.


It is mostly trusted. It is not perfect but most people have not been screwed by it, it it a zero sum game so sometimes they side with one more, usually the buyer. There are more buyers than sellers.


An interesting “mundane” fact about this explosion is that it destroyed so many windows that there probably isn’t enough replacement glass in the country to fix all the windows. And with the port destroyed they don’t know how they’re going to receive more glass. Not to mention aluminum and other materials.


> they don’t know how they’re going to receive more glass

Who is "they"?

The port is partially operational [1], Tripoli hasn't closed, and there is unofficial trade with Syria.

[1] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/beirut-port-resumes-p...


It was whoever KPFA was interviewing about the situation recently. Someone in the area at least. Can’t remember who, sorry.


I think Syria is also out of glass...


This recurrent memory that you can’t stop replaying is a symptom of PTSD. Of course your work and communal recovery cannot stop, but consider getting therapeutic treatment for yourself to help mitigate the impact of this event.


Thanks for sharing the donation link (I always trust charities recommended by locals). I donated a bit.


Was your hearing damaged at all from the blast?


No, not at all... I didn't notice any hearing loss. I would still have to get properly examined and maybe get an audiogram.


"there’s not a single minute I don’t think of what happened and emulate different scenarios where I could’ve died"

It might be helpful to hear that this is apparently a very common psychological reaction to surviving a disaster. Speaking as a survivor of a disaster, this is a reaction that I myself had. It does get better over time.

Also common, for those who lose loved ones or are injured themselves, is imagining different scenarios for emerging unscathed


How's your hearing? If you have any tinnitus, get yourself some corticosteroids ASAP. You could still potentially prevent some hearing damage.


I think it's fine, I didn't notice any hearing loss... Will get an audiogram to make sure.


I’ve had a few traumatic experiences in my past and it hurt me big time to not open up and talk about my feelings. I became withdrawn for years and only recently started opening back up.

If you ever feel like you need to vent to a complete stranger absolutely free of judgement, I’m here for you. Shoot me a Private message. I’m lebanese by the way, living in the US.


Yeah, I narrowly escaped a burning building. Freaky stuff.


[flagged]


Maybe so, but please don't post unsubstantive comments to Hacker News.




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