Google Earth now offers updated satellite pictures of Lebanon. Yesterday a customer at Cafe Younes in Hamra laid out the before and after shots of Beirut and the surrounding suburbs. While I can't read a road map without getting dizzy much less make sense of a satellite view of this city, a swarm of anxious people immediately gathered, in the hope of locating their homes.
Many of the inhabitants of Dahieyeh, the densely populated southern suburb that has been hit repeatedly with missiles and vacuum bombs since the beginning of the war, haven't been able to return to survey the damage. They don't know if their house is still standing, if it has been pulverized along with all their belongings. A young man scoured the photos, and finally recognized a football field adjacent to his apartment block. But he couldn't make out any buildings; just a dark rectangular void where a cluster of high-rise tenements once stood, one of which was his home.