Creating people's geographies
Israel damages $2 bln of Lebanon infrastructure
(Reuters) :: 2 August 2006
BEIRUT – Three weeks of Israeli bombardment has so far inflicted $2 billion of damage on Lebanon’s infrastructure, Transport and Public Works Minister Mohammed Al Safadi said on Wednesday. “Our preliminary valuation is about $2 billion,” he told Reuters.
“That’s roads, bridges, ports, the airport, until now.”
Safadi said it would take at least three months to bring Lebanon’s airport back up to full capacity after Israeli jets struck three runways.
A bridge on the international highway between Beirut and Damascus, the highest in the Middle East, will take around four years to rebuild, he said.
Israel launched a bombing campaign and ground incursions into Lebanon after Hizbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12.
The bombardment has cut off many roads, bridges and flyovers in the south and east of the country as well as putting the airport and ports out of action.
But it is lost business that will inflict the biggest costs on the Lebanese economy, though it is still too early to give any estimates, Safadi said.
“The biggest economic loss to the country is really for those who used the airport for trade and tourism,” he said.
“That is the government’s main income.”