Lebanon’s Ministries of Public Health and Environment made a joint statement where they announced the preventive and precautionary measures to take in case parts of the Beirut Port silos collapsed.
This is what they’re expecting to happen in case of a collapse:
Dust composed of construction waste and fungus from the rotten grains will be emitted and spread in the air.
Experts believe there’s no presence of toxic substances.
For the area within the 500-meter radius of the silos, dense amounts of dust will be emitted and should be evacuated immediately.
For the area between the 500 and 1500 meters radius that includes Karantina, Mar Mitr, Geitaoui, and the center of Beirut, a limited amount of dust will affect the area and will recede in less than 24 hours.
Here are the precautionary measures advised by the ministries:
For people in closed spaces, during the first 24 hours after the incident, all exterior windows and doors should be closed and the air conditioner should run as much as possible.
For people that are outside during the incident, they need to wear a high-efficiency KN95 mask till reaching the closest closed space and wait at least 2 hours until the dust in the air starts reducing before heading to a safe place such as home or workplace and apply the same procedure as above.
For people in their vehicles, they should close all the windows and turn on the air conditioner on suction mode until reaching a closed space and apply the recommended procedures.
In case there is no functioning air conditioner in the car, people should wear a high-efficiency KN95 mask.
As for the cleaning process, people need to wear the KN95 mask to avoid inhaling the dust and follow these instructions:
The balcony should be cleaned by spraying water to prevent the dust from flying back and then by wiping the floor with bleach (without mixing it with any other cleaning tool in fear of chemical reactions).
The inside of the house needs to be cleaned with a damp cloth, bleach, and water (also without mixing it with any other cleaning).
The ministries ended their joint statement by saying:
“Calculation and caution remain the best tools for public safety and to protect health and environment, in hopes that we are free of any risk.”