east beirut explosion

Muna Kalati

On social media, people reported damage to homes and cars far from the port. Despite years of conflict, including the 2006 Lebanon War,[231] both Israel and senior Hezbollah officials ruled out Israeli involvement in the explosion, despite claims and allegations spread via social media. The ship was very close to the site of the explosion. [54] A study of seismic signatures of the explosion by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Germany produced a yield estimate between 0.5 and 1.1 kt of TNT. [16] On 21 November 2013, the ship made port in Beirut. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) report… Shards of glass from a shattered window ripped into the face and body of one of them, a father who was visiting his child. [138], Saint George Hospital, one of the city's largest medical facilities, was less than 1 kilometer (5⁄8 mile) from the explosion, and was so badly damaged that staff were forced to treat patients in the street. [46] The second explosion was felt in northern Israel and in Cyprus, 240 kilometers (150 miles) away. There were local reports that the warehouse contained fireworks, and in several videos posted online, colored flashes could be seen in the dark smoke rising from the fire, just before the major explosion. Although Mustapha Adib was announced as the Prime Minister designate, he failed to form a new government and stepped down. The blast shook the building so badly that party members thought a bomb had gone off inside. In addition to those countries which provided aid, others offered to do so. [169][170][dead link], Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport, the city's main airport, about 10 km (6 mi) from the site of the blast, sustained moderate damage to the terminal buildings during the explosion. Flames continued to rise from the rubble well after the explosions, and a cloud of smoke, tinted pink in the sunset, rose thousands of feet into the sky. [121] French architect Jean-Marc Bonfils died after suffering serious injuries at his apartment in the East Village building in Mar Mikhaël. [116][117][118] The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that 34 refugees were among the dead and missing, and an additional 124 refugees were injured. [158][160], The Bangladesh Navy corvette BNS Bijoy, which participated in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, was also damaged. [14] The shipment had been ordered by an African explosives manufacturing company for mining in Mozambique. [210][211] On the night of 6 August, the protests against the government that had been ongoing since the previous October resumed, with dozens of protestors near the parliament building calling for the resignation of Lebanese government officials. I was not so well-trained, but the Lebanese who would help me in the hours to come had the steadiness that comes from having lived through countless previous disasters. “Those responsible will pay a price for this catastrophe.” he said. But in recent years, the longtime enemies have sought to avoid another war. “He had been through explosions, assassination attempts, wars with the Palestinians and Syrians, Nazo saw it all,” said Elias Hankach, a Kataeb parliamentarian. On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 204 deaths, 6,500 injuries, and US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. Smoke rising from the scene of an explosion in Beirut on Tuesday. The chemical has also been the primary ingredient in bombs used in several terrorist attacks, including the destruction of the federal office building in Oklahoma City in 1995, which killed 168 people. Health facilities were badly damaged at the moment they were most needed. [36][37] On arrival the fire crew reported there was "something wrong" as the fire was huge and produced "a crazy sound". Despite the damage, flights continued. “I didn’t see this even during the war. “Every floor of the hospital is damaged,” said Dr. Peter Noun, the chief of pediatric hematology and oncology. Mr. Najarian, known by the nickname Nazo, died of his injuries. It's four months since a devastating explosion tore through the centre of the Lebanese capital, Beirut ... Middle East. A cargo of 2,750 tonnes of the substance (equivalent to around 1.1 kilotons of TNT) had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety measures for the previous six years, after having been confiscated by the Lebanese authorities from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus. Israeli military officials say Hezbollah has planted many rockets in southern Lebanon that could threaten northern Israel. Windows and other installations of glass across the city were shattered. [1] [9][10][11][12][13] Rhosus was owned by a company based in Panama but was regarded by the captain as under the de facto ownership of Russian businessman Igor Grechushkin. [193] On 9 August, a multinational summit hosted by France raised 253 million euros in aid. [220] President Michel Aoun accepted the resignation of the government and the Prime Minister, and asked the government to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed. The Lebanese Red Cross said that every available ambulance from North Lebanon, Bekaa and South Lebanon was being dispatched to Beirut to help patients. It’s a catastrophe.”. For the Beirut explosions in 1983, see, Accidental ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Aftermath of the explosion, with the destroyed grain silos to the left and the flooded. Another challenge is the availability of space in the country’s disposal sites. Health care workers worried about the fate of one of the country’s main vaccine and medication stockpiles, in the Karantina warehouse near the port. At least 158 people were killed and dozens remain missing. [188] Lebanese President Michel Aoun said the government would make up to 100 billion pounds (US$66 million) in aid available to support recovery operations. Nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate pumped massive pollution into the air of Lebanon's capital last month. Also, several United Nations naval peacekeepers who were members of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were injured by the blast. Dozens are dead and thousands hurt. [60] The Beirut explosion was similar to explosions of large amounts of ammonium nitrate in Tianjin, China, in 2015; in Texas City, United States, in 1947; or in Toulouse, France in 2001. [197], UNESCO played a leading role in the rescue and reconstruction of historic buildings, with Blue Shield International assessing the damage to houses, museums and libraries, and the International Council of Museums providing expertise. The pressure was horrific. One resident said the streets looked like they were “cobbled in glass.”. The ammonium nitrate exploded after catching fire, but what caused the fire is still undetermined. [144][i] The Armenian Catholicosate in Antelias sustained great damage. [189][190] Volunteers removed debris while local business owners offered to repair damaged buildings for free in the absence of a state-sponsored cleanup operation. Hospitals were so overwhelmed that they were turning wounded people away, including the American University Hospital. Lebanon, a country already reeling from an unprecedented economic crisis, and a surge in coronavirus infections, was struck by the massive explosion at the Port of Beirut … [19][20] The heavy machinery was stacked on top of the doors to the cargo space containing the ammonium nitrate, causing the doors to buckle, which damaged the ship. The explosions on Tuesday were preceded by a fire at a warehouse at Beirut’s port, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency. [56][57] Later, they were able to quantitatively support this rapid estimate as they compiled more distance versus time of arrival data as new videos of the explosion in Beirut became available on social media platforms. [250][251][m], "Beirut explosion" redirects here. Many civil society organizations offered equipment and food to the volunteers, while many residents and businesses opened their homes and hotels for free to those who lost their homes in the blast. [23][24], Grechushkin went bankrupt,[a] and after the charterers lost interest in the cargo, he abandoned the ship. [44][45] The orange-red colour of the smoke was caused by nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of ammonium nitrate decomposition. As they collected their nerves and their belongings, they saw that the party’s general secretary, Nazar Najarian, had been wounded by falling debris. [51], Despite inefficient transmission of the shock waves into the ground,[c] the United States Geological Survey measured the event as a 3.3 local magnitude earthquake,[52][53][43] while the Jordan Seismological Observatory reported that it was equivalent to a 4.5 local magnitude earthquake. The Lebanese presidency said on Twitter that President Michel Aoun had instructed the military to aid in the response, and called an emergency meeting of the Supreme Defense Council, which declared Beirut a disaster area. We heard a boom, then everything was shaking.”. [248], As a result of the explosion, concerns were raised about the storage of ammonium nitrate in other ports across the world. [34] Warehouse 12 was waterside and next to the grain silos; the warehouse stored the ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated from MV Rhosus, alongside a stash of fireworks. He broke down in tears on television, calling the event "a national catastrophe". Foreigners from at least 22 countries were among the casualties. That is simply insane. [9][10][17][30] The MV Rhosus sank in the harbour in February 2018. [176][177] In addition, the general manager of the port Hassan Koraytem and the former director general of Lebanon's customs authority Shafiq Merhi were arrested. St. George Hospital in central Beirut, one of the city’s biggest, was so severely damaged that it had to shut down and send patients elsewhere. [142] The atelier for the fashion house Sandra Mansour was heavily damaged by the explosion. [132] The Lebanese ambassador to Jordan Tracy Chamoun also resigned. The attack was blamed by many on Hezbollah, a Shiite militia and political party, and its ally, Syria, which had deployed troops in Lebanon for nearly three decades. Then came a much bigger boom, and the sound itself seemed to splinter. A voice recording from Dr. Joseph Haddad of St. George Hospital was shared with other doctors across Lebanon, who forwarded it to The New York Times. “My friends, my friends. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city. [163][164][165] Two large livestock carriers, Abou Karim I and Abou Karim III, laid up at the end of Berth 09, very close to Warehouse 12, were heavily damaged. [216][217] On 10 August, the justice minister, Marie-Claude Najm, also resigned, followed by the resignation of the entire Lebanese cabinet. The inside is a mess, it’s madness.”, He said the party was waiting for clarity on whether the blast was an attack, the kind of crude tool used for decades to shape Lebanon’s political landscape, or just an accident resulting from mismanagement. ... Another bombing in Lebanon upended Middle East politics in February of 2005, when Rafik Hariri, a … [17][11][12] Some sources said it was forced to port due to mechanical issues and possibly engine problems,[18][17] while other sources claimed the owner did not have sufficient funds to pay tolls for the Suez Canal and attempted to take on a shipment of heavy machinery in Beirut. Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced that Wednesday would be a national day of mourning, the National News Agency reported. The palace had been restored over a twenty-year period following the, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Detailed 0.5 m satellite imagery of explosion aftermath, Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport, International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, long history of industrial disasters globally, "Beirut explosion shatters windows across Lebanese capital", "Crisis hits Lebanon's hospitals, among the best in Mideast", "Hundreds wounded as huge blast rips through Lebanon's Beirut", "What is the Port of Beirut? More than 70 are dead, the health ministry said. Fireworks and ammonium nitrate appear to have been the fuel that ignited a massive explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut, experts and videos of the blast suggest. Uneasily, naïvely, I ran to the window, then back to my desk to check for news. Wreckage from the explosion at the port in Beirut on Tuesday. [5][6] The Beirut Naval Base is a part of the port. “We are living in this doomed management of the country.”. Beirut explosion: The abandoned ship in the blast 'war zone' Close. The silos were built in the 1960s as part of an expansion plan advanced by Palestinian banker Yousef Beidas. A large cache of explosive material seized by the government years ago was stored where the explosions occurred, according to top Lebanese officials — specifically ammonium nitrate, commonly used in both fertilizer and bombs. [3][4], The government-owned Port of Beirut serves as the main maritime entry point into Lebanon and a vital piece of infrastructure for the importation of scarce goods. [236] There was also backlash inside Lebanon against the Israeli gesture. [70], The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International said that, according to attendees of a Higher Defence Council briefing, the fire was ignited by workers welding a door at a warehouse. [247] Some figures from the Israeli right-wing criticized the display of the flag of Lebanon, an "enemy state", in Tel Aviv. [195] On 14 August, a $565 million appeal for Lebanon was launched by the United Nations, including initial recovery efforts, as well as immediate humanitarian aid. The blast was felt in Turkey, Syria, Israel, Palestine and parts of Europe, and was heard in Cyprus, more than 240 km (150 mi) away. [222], Representatives of multiple countries and the United Nations (UN),[117][223] offered condolences. I couldn’t find my passport, or sturdy shoes. Among the worst were in 1983, when a suicide attack on the United States Embassy killed 63 people in April, and bombing in October on the headquarters of international peacekeepers killed 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French troops. Later, someone would tell me that Beirut is of her generation, raised during Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, instinctively ran into their hallways as soon as they heard the first blast, to escape the glass they knew would break. “It’s all destroyed. [h] Furthermore, at least 108 Bangladeshi nationals were injured in the blasts, becoming the most affected foreign community. The numbers climbed steadily through the day, and with the wounded still streaming into hospitals and the search for missing people underway, they were likely to go higher still. In the video below, from the explosion in the port, smaller explosions, possibly fireworks, can be seen in the smoke plume, before the large explosion. [ 117 ] [ 38 ] [ 17 ] [ m ], the withdrew! The national News Agency, a total of 75 ambulances and 375 medics were activated response! Been walking dogs or checking email or grocery shopping least 22 countries among. 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