Disaster

Massive explosion in Beirut kills at least 100, leaves more than 2,00,000 homeless

A massive explosion occurred in Beirut’s port area on Tuesday where authorities had stored tonnes of highly explosive material in warehouses, the Reuters reported.

The explosion is reported to have killed more than 100 people and injured roughly 4000 citizens in the Lebanese capital city.

Essentially, two explosions occurred in the capital city barely within minutes of each other on Tuesday afternoon (local time). Both the explosions were caught on camera and were widely circulated on social media.

From the video footage, it is being speculated that the two blasts were triggered in two different building. The first blast spilled the spread of fire into a nearby building which triggered an even bigger explosion.

Additionally, the videos have captured the massive scale of the explosion. The footage shows smoke billowing from the port area of the city, soon after which a more powerful blast sends a bigger cloud of smoke, triggering seismic shockwaves  across the city that throw the videographers off their feet.

According to a CNN report, the blast created seismic waves equivalent of a magnitude 3.3 earthquake.

Other images and videos which soon began to circulate on news channels showed shattered windows, damaged cars and public property, smashed masonry as the blast has reportedly affected residents living as far as 10 kilometres away from the site, the Indian Express reported.

Officials have said that they expect the death toll to rise further after the blast as disaster management workers conduct rescue operations in the city.

While it is still being speculated what exactly caused the explosion, Beirut President Michel Aoun, who took office in 2016 linked the blast to roughly 2,600 tonnes of confiscated ammonium nitrate that were being stored in a warehouse at the port for six years. The highly inflammable material had been stored without any safety measure.

Beirut’s governor Marwan Abboud said that the blast caused up to $5 billion worth of damage, a CNN World report read. He added that between 200,00 to 250,000 people had lost their homes and that the authorities are working to provide them with food, water and shelter.

Beirut Prime Minister Hassan Diab told the nation that there would be accountability for the deadly explosion, claiming that “those responsible will pay the price.” He called for a day of mourning on Wednesday.

 

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