With more than 70 people dead and thousands injured, the explosion in the city of Beirut, Lebanon caused massive destruction of life and man-made structures. Here are all the details you should know.
A massive explosion occurred in a warehouse at the port in Beirut, Lebanon at about 6 pm local time on Tuesday. Videos of the massive blasts have been in circulation on social media. The videos show a dome-shaped cloud engulfing the city center. The blast has sent seismic shocks into the surrounding area. The video also shows the destruction of nearby neighborhoods, streets, buildings, and such. The blast resulted in a sea of ash and debris coming down on major portions of the port. A two-week state of emergence now stands recommended.
What caused the explosion?
According to the authorities, the blast was set off when a fire at a warehouse ignited explosive ammonium nitrate that was being stored inside.
Hassan Diab, the Prime Minister of Lebanon stated that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were being stored at the warehouse.
'It is unacceptable that a shipment of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate has been present for six years in a warehouse, without taking preventive measures,' stated the Prime Minister at a defense council meeting, as told by a spokesperson at a press conference.
The national defense council has declared Beirut a disaster zone. The Prime Minister appealed to Lebanon's allies. He asked the allies to 'stand by' the country; 'help us treat these deep wounds,' he added.
President Michel Aoun declared a 3 day mourning period. He stated that he would release a sum of 100 billion lire as emergency funds.
Condolences have poured in from across the globe.