The explosions that yesterday hit Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, left at least 100 dead and left a trail of destruction in the port region of the city. Satellite images show the area before and after the explosions.
The first image (left), reproduced from Google Earth, shows what the region was like before. The second, published by the rabzthecopter Instagram profile, shows the destruction in the area, formed by warehouses and warehouses.
At around 6 pm yesterday (12 pm, Brasília time), a first explosion was heard in Beirut, followed by a much more powerful one. The buildings trembled, and the windowpanes broke within a radius of several kilometers.
In the streets of Beirut, soldiers evacuated stunned residents, many of them bloodied, with shirts tied around their heads to contain their wounds.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab decreed a national day of mourning for this Wednesday. Yesterday, he said the explosions were caused by the detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate.
The substance is a white, odorless salt, used in the composition of certain types of fertilizers in the form of grains, highly soluble in water. It is also used in the manufacture of explosives and has already caused several industrial accidents.
Before, the director of General Security, Abbas Ibrahim, had said that the explosions could have been caused by “highly explosive materials confiscated years ago”, but added that an investigation will determine the “exact nature of the incident”.
“It is unacceptable that a shipment of ammonium nitrate, estimated at 2,750 tonnes, has been in a warehouse for six years, without preventive measures. This is unacceptable and we cannot remain silent on the subject,” said the prime minister during the meeting of the Superior Defense Council.
Diab he promised that those responsible would be “accountable” and asked for help from Lebanon’s “friendly countries”.
Tuesday’s tragedy adds to the already difficult situation in Lebanon, which is going through the worst economic crisis in decades, marked by an unprecedented exchange rate depreciation, hyperinflation and mass layoffs that have fueled social unrest for several months. Hospitals in the capital, which are already dealing with the coronavirus, are saturated.