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Port of Beirut devastated in massive explosion. Death toll 63+. Chaos at hospitals.

PortandTerminal.com, August 4, 2020

BEIRUT – The massive explosion that rocked Lebanon’s capital Beirut today has caused extensive damage to the country’s main port, located next to the blast’s epicenter.

Smoke rises in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Much of the port area has been destroyed in today’s blast
Smoke rose from the site of the explosion at a warehouse.
Smoke rose from the site of the explosion at a warehouse.
PHOTO: MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS

“It looks like what happened in Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That’s what it reminds me of. I have never seen destruction on this scale in my life”

Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud weeping as he spoke to reporters

Windows in Beirut were blown out up to fifteen miles away from where the explosion occurred. Thousands of families have lost their homes. More than 63 people were killed and 3,000 injured in the blast at the Beirut port area. The intensity of the blast tore balconies off of buildings. Glass in high-rise buildings shattered and fell to the street.

Map of blast intensity in Beirut

Lebanon’s interior minister said initial information indicated highly explosive material, seized years ago, that had been stored there had blown up. Lebanon-based broadcaster Mayadeen cited the country’s customs director saying tonnes of nitrate exploded.

The port’s grain silos, responsible for 80% of the country’s grain imports, have been completely destroyed. This latest tragedy in Lebanon comes to a country already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and severe economic collapse.

Internal Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim, touring the port area, said he would not pre-empt investigations.

The governor of Beirut port told Sky News that a team of firefighters at the scene had “disappeared” after the explosion.

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