A massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut this afternoon Tuesday 04 August 2020, the center of the explosion was in the Beirut harbor.
The Lebanese people who lived through a lengthy civil war and several confrontations with Israel and terrorists loyal to it including ISIS have never witnessed something like this.
Initial reports stated that a fire started in the warehouses of Wharf 12 of the Beirut Harbor in the afternoon, it was storing firework materials, workers nearby called the fire brigade which dispatched a unit, and during their initial work, the fire spread fast to nearby hazardous chemicals that caused a massive explosion.
The General Director of the Beirut stated that tons of Ammonium Nitrate exploded in the harbor, this was confiscated years ago and stored in warehouses in the wharf.
The explosion was so powerful that residents at the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh some 80 kilometers away have heard the explosion, and so did people at the borders with Syria. People in Cyprus also heard the sound of the explosion.
Multiple semi-official sources confirmed at least 10 dead in the first count, some other sources said that hundreds were killed and hundreds more injured throughout the Beirut waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods.
The material damage is devastating, it reached the Beirut International Airport as well. Many cars destroyed, the facade of many buildings destroyed, especially near the center of the explosion. An entire wharf destroyed and sunk in the sea, wheat silos destroyed completely and the wheat spilled in the sea as well.
Firefighters from all nearby regions rushed to the site for hours trying to extinguish the fire that torched a number of ships docking at the harbor with many injured onboard, with many people still trapped under the rubble. Beirut’s main hospitals called for blood donation of all types.
Lebanon is already facing a multi-layer crisis including facing COVID-19, an economic disastrous situation due to US direct and indirect sanctions, topped with an unprecedented level of corruption preventing the country from solving any of its issues.
Beirut’s governor, Philip Boulos, wept during a press conference following the blast, likening the explosion to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese cities leveled by atomic bombs during WWII. The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International revealed that Prime Minister Hassan Diab‘s wife and daughter were “slightly injured” but did not provide further details about their status.
Lebanese President called on the Higher Defense Council for an urgent meeting this evening and the Lebanese Prime Minister declared tomorrow as a day of grievance in the country.