Two huge explosions shook the Lebanese capital, causing massive destruction, loss of life and a shock wave felt throughout the city. Here is a description of the events:
Around 6 p.m., a fire broke out in a warehouse in the port of Beirut. This warehouse contained a large quantity of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used mainly as fertilizer and in the manufacture of explosives. The fires caused a series of catastrophic explosions.
The first explosion was relatively small but generated a huge cloud of reddish smoke and was followed by several smaller explosions. Then, about 30 seconds later, a second massive explosion occurred. This released an enormous amount of energy, creating a mushroom of smoke and debris that rose into the sky.
The explosions had devastating consequences:
Mass Destruction: Much of the Port of Beirut was destroyed, along with many surrounding buildings and neighborhoods. Residential and commercial buildings were severely damaged, leaving many people homeless.
Loss of life: More than 200 people were killed in the explosions, and thousands more were injured. Among the victims were residents of Beirut, port workers and even emergency personnel who were responding to the scene of the initial fire.
Shockwave: The shockwave was felt for miles around. Windows of buildings were blown out, cars were damaged and buildings were rocked to their foundations.
Humanitarian crisis: The explosions have aggravated the already precarious economic and political situation in Lebanon. The country has faced an escalating humanitarian crisis, with food, medical and housing shortages.
The blasts sparked immense shock and outrage across the country and around the world. They have also led to popular protests in Beirut demanding accountability and reform to tackle the corruption and incompetence that have been widely seen as contributing factors to the disaster.
Le 4 août 2020, une explosion dévastait le port de Beyrouth et les quartiers alentours, tuant plus de 220 personnes. pic.twitter.com/USuD2xuv0y— INA.fr (@Inafr_officiel) August 4, 2023