John Key’s comment on the destruction left behind by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake makes a total of two people who have publicly compared the damage to Beirut (the other being a local resident) which only emphasizes the unoriginality of the phrase:
Prime Minister John Key gives his recollection of the events and days following the February 2011 earthquake.
“I knew we were dealing with an enormous tragedy; it was just obvious from the devastation on the ground … it was everywhere. It was like Beirut. It was just a city that had been brought to its knees.”
I really don’t see how the city was ‘like Beirut’. I can think of a hundred-and-one cities that have witnessed devastating earthquakes and Beirut would not make that list. Prime Minister Key will be receiving his looks like Beirut certificate shortly.