BEIRUT MASSIVE BLAST:
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon is a massive city that is accommodating around 1 million to 2.2 million of the population of Lebanon, according to the 2007 census. It is the third-largest city in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Levant and fifteenth-largest city in the Arab world.
Yesterday, on Tuesday 4th July 2020, a massive blast took place in the capital of Lebanon, Beirut. According to the report, the reason for the enormous explosion was due to the hefty amounts of explosive material, Ammonium nitrate, which was stored in the warehouse. The cataclysmic blast resulted in about 100 deaths, unfortunately, and there were about 4,000 casualties. The impact of the blast was so strong that its shock waves destroyed the buildings present in the vicinity of about 10 kilometers.
Ammonium nitrate is a very strong chemical that is used as a fertilizer or in massive explosives like bombs, etc. It was used to bomb the city of Oklahoma in 1995, killing around 169 people. The explosive is very toxic and can cause poisoning even after days of it being in the air. This is why the Embassy of the US in Beirut requested the people to stay inside their houses and try to wear masks for a couple of days.
LEBANON’S PRIME MINISTER, HASSAN DIAB SAID:
After the catastrophic event, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Hassan Diab revealed in a statement that the sole reason for such a massive blast was due to the huge amount, 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse. The explosive material had been sitting there for years, and that too without any precautions, which resulted in taking so many lives and mighty destruction.
Though the main reason behind the whole scene is still unknown, what caused it to explode in the first place. The inquiry is still going on to find out satisfactory answers.
However, the media was linking this blast to be an outcome of fire in the nearby firecracker warehouse that spread rapidly and resulted in blowing up the whole area but again, this is also a supposition. It is not for sure that this happened. The security chief of Lebanon also supported the Prime Minister’s statement and said that that blast was probably due to hefty amounts of explosive material stored in the premises.
PRESIDENT MICHEL AOUN, ASSURED THE PEOPLE OF A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION AND A SEVERE PUNISHMENT FOR THE CULPRIT:
Michel Aoun, while addressing the media, assured people of Beirut that there will be a thorough investigation to find out the cause of such a destructive blast and the person who did it. He also promised that whoever was behind this heinous act will be severely punished.
People are still in shock and have many questions in mind after going through such a disastrous event that took their loved ones away from them. They are in anger and want to know the reason why such a big amount of explosive material was stored in the warehouse in the first place, that too without any safety measures.
CHAOTIC SITUATION IN THE HOSPITALS OF LEBANON:
The hospitals were already very preoccupied with the patients of Coronavirus and then this happened. They are working to their maximum capacity to save as many people as they can. But sadly, the number of deaths is rising with every passing hour. The actual number of deaths is still unknown as it is changing every minute. Many bodies are recovered in the area where the blast took place and people are looking for their loved ones everywhere.
The secretary-general, Georges Kettaneh, told that as per current news, over 100 people had died due to the massive explosion that happened in Beirut. He also said that more deaths are being reported as the time is passing by.
According to the health minister, Hamad Hassan, thousands of people are still yet to be recovered and found so there is a very high probability of death rate increasing over time.
He also said that there were four hospitals in the area of the explosion and they have been completely destroyed so Qatar, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, and Jordan are providing help by setting up field hospitals in the destructive areas of Beirut to facilitate as many patients as they can. He also said that the emergency plan of setting up field hospitals will be conducted very soon.
The government is also providing food and shelter for around a thousand affected families who lost everything, including their homes.
THE UNFORTUNATE TIMING OF THE BLAST:
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Coronavirus, Lebanon like other countries was also going through a political and economical downfall, and the blast at this time of crisis was another huge loss for them.
The number of cases of Coronavirus in Lebanon was 5,062 with about 65 reported deaths but due to the lockdown situation people were already in anger and protesting against deprivation of food and basic necessities.
In such a time of crisis, the massive explosion resulted in damage worth about USD 3-5 billion. The city was out of power supply for a long time after the blast.
Like President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Diab also promised that he will conduct the best investigation to find out the reason for the blast in order to punish the people who are behind this all.
RETIRED ATF EXPLOSIVES INVESTIGATOR FOR THE US GOVERNMENT, ANTHONY MAY SAID:
The expert said that the dark red cloud that appeared after the explosion did not indicate the presence of ammonium nitrate alone, because of the explosion due to this specific explosive results in a yellow cloud. He further said that according to him, there were other explosives involved in the blast alongside ammonium nitrate.
He also revealed that the explosion was so massive that it almost resembled the characteristics of a kiloton atomic bomb, but there was no nuclear material found upon investigation. The blast produced strong shock waves, that were equal to the shock waves resulting from a small nuclear device explosion.
US DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS CRITICIZED PRESIDENT TRUMP ON CALLING THE INCIDENT, AN ‘ATTACK’:
Trump also showed his grief over the incident, saying that He is really sorry to hear about the ‘attack’ and will be more than happy to provide help to Lebanon. His misuse of words raged the three US Defense Department Officials. They said that he shouldn’t have used the word ‘attack’ for the incident as there is yet no proof of it being an attack.
Many countries including Kuwait, The United Kingdom, Israel, UAE, France, Turkey, Jordan, Russia, Qatar, and Spain also offered their help to Lebanon after the attack and are providing them with food, other resources, and field hospitals.
THE GOVERNOR RELATED BEIRUT EXPLOSION TO ‘HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI’ BOMB BLASTS:
According to the reports, the blast happened around 6 pm that resulted in a mini earthquake of 3.3 magnitudes. Footages were released of injured people crawling and moaning in pain across the streets of Beirut, with ambulances loading the injured to take them to the hospital for immediate treatment. after the blast.
Few people said that the whole scene was so horrific, it almost felt like an apocalypse. They also said that the people were panicking and all the areas along with houses, cars, and buildings were completely destroyed.
The governor, Marwan Abboud said that the whole scene reminded him of the ‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki’ bomb blasts. The destruction and loss were beyond belief and it was so painful to watch injured people lying on the streets.
The hospitals and medical staff looked overburdened due to so many casualties but they did the most to treat as many people on the scene as they could. According to the reports, the staff started treating people even on the streets and on sidewalks. Many people reported that the hospital was so flooded that it looked like a war one full of injured adults and children.
The area of the blast and even areas 10 kilometers away from it were full of injured people. Some had broken limbs while others had injuries due to glass pieces. CNN told, that over 400 patients were taken to Beirut’s major hospital, Hotel Dieu.
LEBANESE RED CROSS, REQUEST PEOPLE ON TWITTER TO DONATE BLOOD TO THE INJURED:
The Red Cross requested people over twitter to donate blood for the needy and to provide their help in any way possible. Many ambulances were sent to rescue the injured people from Beirut.
Reportedly, two Filipinos died in the explosion while eight of them were severely injured. Whereas, one Australian died in the blast as per reports given by the Australian Embassy, who’s building was also damaged due to the blast to some extent.
Moreover, as per reports, there were a number of injured people from other countries including a Chinese citizen, six Turkish citizens, an Indonesian, and a Japanese national. The Korean embassy in Beirut reported damage to their building but till now, none of their citizens is reported to be injured.
The whole world is in grief and has united to help Lebanon in such a horrible and hard time.