Beirut explosion: "I have never witnessed something of this scale"

Beirut - MSF emergency response

Last week, Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, was rocked by a massive explosion that killed more than 150 people and left more than 5,000 injured. Krystel Moussalli, an epidemiologist with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF), was inside the MSF building in Beirut when it happened. The walls were shaking, she said, “and the roof collapsing, and the voices of the people shouting in the streets, and the noise of broken glass. There were feelings of total shock, pain, loss, confusion.” Within days of the explosion, MSF teams were donating medical supplies to organizations including the Lebanese Red Cross and going to door to door to assess people's medical needs. We are currently investigating how best to provide support to the medical system during this extremely tumultuous time. “You hear of collapsed hospitals,” says Moussalli, “hospitals that were totally destroyed, that had to stop their activities, that had to evacuate their patients. And also, people's houses, partly or totally destroyed. People have their lives that have changed as of today, as of this minute.”