A powerful explosion occurred in the vicinity of the Port of Beirut on 4 August in the evening. Many city blocks were damage, and the echo from the explosion resounded across many hundreds of kilometers, even reaching Nicosia, journalists from Cyprus TV channels reported.
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud declared that the consequences of the explosion are comparable to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. According to preliminary reports, more than 3,700 people were injured, and there were more than 100 casualties.
Because of the explosion in the Lebanese capital, half of the area with the city’s administration sustained damage, shop windows and display cases in many buildings around the port and downtown were blown apart, several residential buildings collapsed, and the presidential Baabda Palace incurred damage. The blast caused a power outage, and that is why rescue crews are experiencing difficulties searching for the wounded. The hospitals in Beirut wound up filled beyond their capacity, declared the Lebanese minister of health Mohammed Hassan, and the capital’s medical institutions cannot cope with the influx of injured, which is why he requested that the wounded be hospitalized beyond the boundaries of the Lebanese capital.
Lebanese authorities declared the capital the scene of a natural disaster.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, in the Twitter account for the country’s head of state, pointed to the presumed cause of the explosion in Beirut. According to him, the explosion occurred due to the fact that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate have been warehoused at the capital’s seaport over the course of six years. Along with that, the hazardous explosive substance was located there without adopting any preventive safety measures, and posed a threat to public safety, added Diab. “I will not rest until we find out who is responsible for what has transpired, so that they can be held accountable,” he stated.
Five months ago, the Lebanese General Directorate of State Security launched an investigation upon finding a large quantity of ammonium nitrate in the Port of Beirut. The explosive substances were on board a vessel flying a flag of an African country that had been abandoned by its owners a few years ago due to a large amount of accrued debt. Following the investigation by the security services,