As of this writing, at least 135 people had already died while 5,000 were wounded due to the two powerful explosions that rocked Beirut’s port this Tuesday. Hospitals are already reportedly overwhelmed so the victims are being sent outside the Lebanese capital for treatment. Unfortunately, search and rescue operation is ongoing hence the aforementioned numbers are expected to rise.
The deadly explosion is so powerful that United States Geological Survey says—as quoted by CNN—it “created seismic waves equivalent of a magnitude 3.3 earthquake.” According to Star Tribune, the blast was “heard and felt as far away as Cyprus more than 200 kilometers (180 miles) across the Mediterranean.”
Meanwhile, witnesses described the effect of the massive explosion as “like an earthquake,” buildings were destroyed, cars were upturned, and houses in various parts of Beirut shook, their windows shattered. Take a look at some of the witnesses’ accounts online below:
Sky News Middle East Editor Zein Ja'far, who is in Beirut, says he has seen "quite a few people… walking around in a real daze" near the the site of the explosion.— SkyNews (@SkyNews) August 4, 2020
Get the latest on this story here: https://t.co/UH3Jscyfkr pic.twitter.com/OyUPj30PX0
"There isn't a window that hasn't been blown out in this area"— SkyNews (@SkyNews) August 4, 2020
Sky News Middle East Editor Zein Ja'far, who is in Beirut, says a "huge amount of damage" has been caused by an explosion in the Lebanese capital.
Get the latest on this story here: https://t.co/UH3Jscyfkr pic.twitter.com/HmZQRfkmaJ
You can also read the account of Abbie Cheeseman, a freelance investigative journalist from Caldicot currently living in Beirut here.
Lebanon’s General Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim said that “2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate were in Beirut’s port on the way to Africa when they exploded,” Al Jazeera reports.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Aoun reportedly said on Twitter that it is “unacceptable” that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were “stored in a warehouse for six years without safety measures.” Al Jazeera added, “Aoun vowed that those responsible would face the ‘harshest punishments.'”
On the other hand, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a press conference:
Beirut is stricken, Lebanon is suffering from a disaster. It’s a big national disaster. The images that we are seeing speak for the volume of the tragedy. What happened today will not pass without accountability; those responsible will pay the price for this disaster.
Watch the video below that captures the aftermath of the huge blast in Beirut:
Adam4Adam is sending love to all our brothers and sisters over there. Here’s wishing everyone good health and strength during these trying times. Stay safe and stay connected, guys, wherever you are in the world!