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Beirut Explosion: death toll rises to 135

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The incident at Beirut is the reflection of the nuclear destruction caused in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1975. Beirut, the downtown of Lebanon, was already in debt and this ‘catastrophe’ has put it under great loss. Look at what happened that has caught everyone’s soul.

In Picture:

August 4, 2020, Tuesday, a bloody day for Beirut, Lebanon. Many people were killed and several were injured. At least 135 people were killed and 5,000 were wounded in the explosion that took place at the port of Beirut, on the city’s northern Mediterranean coast. The damages due to the blast were captured, showing how a well-organized city has converted into loads of bricks within seconds. The blastwave leveled buildings near the port and caused extensive damage to the rest of the capital, which is the home to two million people. Hospitals were overwhelmed and people were searching for their loved ones. Hundreds have been reported missing and around 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Authorities have declared Beirut as a “disaster city” and imposed a two-week state of emergency.

Who is Responsible:

Although the main cause of the blast is still a mystery, but Lebanon’s Prime Minister said an investigation would focus on an estimated 2,750 metric tons of the explosive ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse. Why the material was stored, where it was, who had access to it, and why for so long are all unanswered questions. Whatever may be the immediate cause of the deadly explosion, criminal negligence and poor system maintained by the country’s political elites are indicating as the main reason for the explosion.

How much dangerous is Ammonium Nitrate?

Ammonium Nitrate is safe to handle on its own. It is used to make fertilizers as well as to create explosives for mining. However, it absorbs moisture over time and eventually turns into enormous rock. This reaction makes it more dangerous because if fire reaches it the chemical reaction will be much more intense. When Ammonium Nitrate explodes it can release toxic gases like ammonia gas and nitrogen oxides polluting the air and causing health diseases.

Lebanon is not only fighting with COVID-19 but is also under huge economic debts. The economic crises has put 50% of the population at or below poverty line. The only major port of Lebanon, which was also Beirut’s main wheat and food-grain stores will be facing food scarcity shortly along with shortage of medical supplies. It would not be possible for the country to cope up with the crisis without the help of foreign aids.

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