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Biondi is back from Beirut

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Fr. Biondi arrived in St. Louis around 1 p.m. Friday.

He had been in Lebanon since July 11, and was originally scheduled to leave the country on July 25.

The clash between Israel and Hezbollah forced him to evacuate by ship to Cyprus last Wednesday.

Biondi says he didn't see the devastation up close - but says he did hear and feel explosions while waiting at the port of Beirut.

"The closest feeling I could have is like when there's a thunder clap; a real close thunder clap, and you can feel the vibrations," Biondi said. "And we looked up, and I saw puffs of smoke - I'd say four, five, six miles away. So that really kind of shook me up a bit."

Biondi says the worst part of the trip was the uncertainty of not knowing when he would leave.

He says despite several attempts, he received no communication from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.