According to the Red Cross report, more than 100 people lost their lives and four thousand others were injured after these spectacular explosions in the port of Beirut on Tuesday (04.08.2020).
A first explosion was heard in Beirut, an urban area of about two million inhabitants, followed by another, very powerful, which caused a giant mushroom in the sky. The buildings shook and the windows exploded for miles around.
Double explosion comes in the midst of the economic crisis in Lebanon
Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared that the disaster occurred in a warehouse where 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored. He declared a day of national mourning, and promised that those responsible would be held accountable. In fact, the material would be stored “without precautions”.
“It is unacceptable that a load of ammonium nitrate, estimated at 2,750 tonnes, has been in a warehouse for six years, without precautions. It is unacceptable and we cannot remain silent.”, the Prime Minister explained before the Chief Defense Council.
In the smoking ruins of the port of Beirut, in the middle of winding buildings, the rescuers were still trying to find victims on Wednesday morning. “I was on my way to work when I saw thick smoke and flames and a few moments later I felt the explosion and it threw me up in the air.”, said one witness.
The Lebanese Red Cross is causing a toll increase to 100 dead
A shock was felt more than 200 km away
The Lebanese capital, declared a “disaster city”, woke up in shock after these explosions of such power that they were registered by the censors of the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS) as an earthquake of magnitude 3.3. In the epicenter of the explosion, which exploded as far as the island of Cyprus, more than 200 kilometers away, the landscape is apocalyptic: containers look like twisted tin cans, cars are charred, the floor is littered with suitcases and paper from neighboring offices, blown away by explosions.
Many countries responded and offered their support to Lebanon. Germany has expressed its sentiment. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on his Twitter account: “Germany is on Lebanon’s side during these dark hours.” Employees at the German embassy are among the injured.