AP PHOTOS: In flash, Beirut blast tore up thousands of homes

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When the first blast hit, Mona al-Shami and her sister hid under a table in their apartment in Qarantina, near the center of the explosions at Beirut port. Then came the second massive explosion. “Everything flew, everything exploded,” she said. The sisters were both knocked unconscious for a few moments, before they woke up again to an apocalyptic scene.

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“Thank God we are alive, but everything’s gone, our home, car, everything,” she said, breaking into tears as she stood in the middle of a bedroom littered with debris.

Said al-Assaad, 24, stands amid the destruction in his family home — a beautiful ground-floor traditional house in the historic district of Mar Mikhail facing the port.

He was in the mountains when the explosion happened. His family survived. But the neighborhood, buildings, shops, restaurants and balconies are all destroyed.

“Destruction like you never saw and will never see in your life. I never expected to see something like this, not even in a video game,” he said.

“It is beyond words, something that cannot be described. ”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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