2020 Beirut explosion

Coordinates: 33°54′04″N 35°31′05″E / 33.9010°N 35.5181°E / 33.9010; 35.5181
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33°54′04″N 35°31′05″E / 33.9010°N 35.5181°E / 33.9010; 35.5181

2020 Beirut explosion
The aftermath of the explosion.
Date4 August 2020 (2020-08-04)
LocationBeirut, Lebanon
Coordinates33°54′10.62″N 35°31′4.04″E / 33.9029500°N 35.5177889°E / 33.9029500; 35.5177889
Non-fatal injuries7,500+
Property damage$10-15 billion
The explosion happened behind the grain elevator in this picture.
The site of the explosion. The tall structure on the left is the grain elevator in the other picture.

On 4 August 2020, an explosion happened in the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.[1][2][3]

The blast happened at the Port of Beirut and left at least 220 people dead (with the total expected to go higher), at least 7,500 injured, and many more missing.[4][5][6][7][8] The Governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, said over 300,000 people lost their homes.[8]

It is said that the explosion may have been caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate is a chemical substance that can be used for fertilizer. It can also be used to make explosives. The government took the ammonium nitrate from a ship in the port of Damascus, the MV Rhosus. The MV Rhosus had been abandoned in the port, after the Lebanese government said it was no longer fit to travel by sea. The ammonium nitrate was then stored in the port, for at least six years. This may have been without the proper precautions. There are various regulations how ammonium nitrate should be stored, and handled. In its pure form, ammonium nitrate does not burn; but it increases fires a great deal. It should therefore not be stored near flammable substances, and it should not be heated in a closed space. It is also very sensitive to temperature.

Before the big explosion, here seems to have been a fire in a part of the warehouse, where fireworks were stored. The ammonium nitrate was stored in the same building.

The explosion has been compared to three thousand tonnes of TNT.[9][10]

Some countries offered medical aid, rescue teams and money to help deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

References[change | change source]

  1. Khoury, Jack; Landou, Noa (4 August 2020). "Massive explosion shakes Lebanese capital, buildings near Beirut port reportedly damaged". Haaretz. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  2. Mroue, Bassem (4 August 2020). "Massive explosion shakes Lebanon's capital Beirut". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 4 August 2020.[permanent dead link]
  3. Hubbard, Ben (4 August 2020). "Explosions Rock East Beirut". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  4. "Beirut blast death toll hits 100 as Lebanon mourns". www.dailystar.com.lb. Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  5. Chulov, Martin; Safi, Michael (4 August 2020). "Lebanon: at least 78 killed as huge explosion rocks Beirut". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  6. Holmes, Oliver; Beaumont, Peter; Safi, Michael; Chulov, Martin (4 August 2020). "Beirut explosion: dead and wounded among 'hundreds of casualties', says Lebanon Red Cross – live updates". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  7. Gadzo, Mersiha (4 August 2020). "Dozens killed, thousands wounded in Beirut blast: Live updates". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Najjar, Ted Regencia, Linah Alsaafin, Farah. "Beirut explosion death toll rises to 135 as 5,000 wounded: Live". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2020-08-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. Horton, Alex (4 August 2020). "Here's what the videos of the Beirut blast tell us about the explosion". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  10. "Using dimensional analysis I estimate that the energy contained in the awful #Beirut explosion was approximately 12 Terajoules".