Man starts fundraiser to help Beirut explosion victims


A Lebanese army helicopter flies over the scene where an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Prime Minister Hassan Diab, in a short televised speech, has appealed to all countries and friends of Lebanon to extend help to the small nation, saying: “We are witnessing a real catastrophe.” (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A man who emigrated from Lebanon to Illinois decades ago is trying to help those affected by a deadly explosion there.

Habeeb Habeeb set up a fundraiser to go directly to victims of the blast. He grew up in Beirut about a mile from that area. More than 160 people were killed by the explosion on August 4. The country’s government resigned August 10.

Habeeb said people there desperately need help.

“The need is massive,” said Habeeb. It’s a catastrophe of unparalleled proportion. It isn’t a tornado, it isn’t a hurricane. You know, when we had a hurricane here in America, the government sent a lot of aide to New Orleans trying to help. There is no government there. Half of the city has damage.”

If you’d like to help out, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.