More than 70% of Beirut's structures were damaged. The explosion destroyed at least 70,000 dwellings, many of which are no longer livable, and left at least 300,000 people homeless. Aluminum and glass prices have soared, forcing many people who can't afford them to live in open-air structures.
Beirut suffered a major terrorist attack on April 18, 2006. A bomb planted by Hezbollah in a restaurant near the Italian Embassy destroyed part of the Belle Époque district and killed 43 people. Another 53 people were injured in the blast. The target was probably foreign tourists, as the restaurant was known for its elaborate decorations and patrons enjoyed eating breakfast there.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shia Muslim political party that has been classified as a terrorist organization by the United States government. It was founded in 1985 by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah who is still its leader. The group aims to create an Islamic state in Lebanon through armed struggle.
Hezbollah's main weapon is thought to be its network of underground bunkers where it trains children to fight.
Beirut was already suffering from an economic crisis when this attack happened. The city had just announced plans to rebuild some of the devastated areas so people could move back in but lack of funds prevented this plan from being put into action.
Beirut remains one of the most unstable cities in the world.
On social media, hundreds of Lebanese are using the hashtag # OurHomesAreOpen to offer refuge to people affected by the bomb. According to Beirut's governor, over 300,000 people's homes are now unfit for habitation.
The attack has also forced the closure of schools and hospitals in several parts of the country. The National News Agency (NNA) reports that at least six people were killed and more than 50 injured in the blast. It happened near a church where dozens of Christians had gathered for Mass.
Beirut is one of the most ethnically divided cities in the world. The predominantly Christian city center and south stands alongside the Muslim north and east. Although the capital city has many churches, they are mostly located in the Christian quarter of Ashrafieh.
In 2008, an earthquake killed about 70,000 people in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was one of the deadliest earthquakes in recent memory.
The death toll could have been much higher if it wasn't for some heroic residents who saved thousands of lives by pulling people out of the way of an advancing wall of water. The quake triggered landslides that blocked roads across northern Pakistan.
It took several hours after the earthquake before officials could reach many areas with damage because of the inaccessible terrain.
According to the World Bank, the physical damage inflicted by the Beirut bombing might amount to $4.6 billion. The bomb damaged Beirut's port and nearby neighborhoods. Many buildings were destroyed, including public facilities such as schools and hospitals. About 15,000 people were made homeless.
Beirut was already suffering from an economy that was dominated by tourism and trade before the bombing. However, after the devastation, it took years for the city to recover. In the meantime, many other Lebanese cities emerged as replacement destinations for tourists. Today, Beirut is one of the most expensive cities in the world, with prices increasing every year.
The bombing also had an impact on the political situation in Lebanon. It created fear among both residents and visitors to Beirut and prompted many businesses to close down. This, combined with the destruction caused by the war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, has made this city difficult to defend.
However, despite all these problems, Beirut has managed to retain some of its historic charm. There are several museums in and around the city that showcase Lebanese culture and history. Also, many old buildings remain standing in central Beirut where you can see how the city used to look before it became popular with tourists.