A strong explosion in the port of Beirut not only destroyed half of the city, but even “backfired” on a large part of the Mediterranean. As stated in the German geoscience center GFZ, the explosion was equivalent in strength to an earthquake of magnitude 4.5. According to some experts, this non-nuclear explosion roughly corresponds to the equivalent of an explosion of 2 kilotons of TNT. Which is analogous to the explosion of a tactical nuclear charge (they are most often make less than one kiloton). The shock wave even reached Cyprus, after almost 250 kilometers, frightening tourists who were vacationing in the hotels of the island of Aphrodite.
In Beirut itself, according to preliminary data, at least 100 people died and injured more than 4 thousand people. The scale of the destruction in the city is enormous and terrifying. The shock wave from the epicenter of the explosion swept through the whole of Beirut. In most of the houses adjacent to the port, the ceilings were destroyed, and at a distance of several kilometers in all houses windows were broken. The warehouse building, which became the epicenter of the explosion, turned into dusty debris, scattered several hundred meters.
The Death Toll Could Rise
“The death toll could rise,” local officials say. Moreover, many rubble has not yet been dismantled, and hospitals are filled to capacity, and the situation is extremely difficult. There is not enough blood supply, problems with generators arise. At the same time, the explosion harmed several hospitals, like many other buildings in the city.
The exact cause of the explosion is still unknown. It is believed that the incident began with a fire at the fireworks warehouse. Then the fire reached the “explosive material” confiscated from the ship and stored in the port. As the local TV channel LBC reported, the main explosion occurred after the ignition of sodium nitrate (sodium nitrate) – perhaps because of it, an orange cloud appeared at the site of the explosion. At the same time, political versions has also put forward. In particular, witnesses say that shortly before the explosion they heard planes overhead. These are Israeli military overflights, as in Lebanon “tensions” continue between Israel and the Hezbollah military group on the southern border of Lebanon.
“It was a real horror show. I have not seen anything like it since the civil war., ”said local resident Marwan Ramadan, who was about 500 meters from the port and the force of explosion knocked it down. According to the Turkish Daily Sabah, Governor of Beirut, Marwan Abbud, burst into tears while inspecting the place. Exclaiming: “Beirut is a devastated city.” Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised that “the guilty will pay.”
Note that the explosion has already included in the list of the largest non-nuclear explosions.
Let us recall the loudest man-made non-nuclear explosions in the second half of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st:
- August 12, 2015 – explosions at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin, China; two explosions had the equivalent of 3 and 21 tons of TNT. As a result, 173 people died;
- September 21, 2001 – explosion at the AZF plant in Toulouse;
- May 13, 2000 – Explosion at a fireworks warehouse in Enschede, Holland;
- June 4, 1989 – a train accident near Ufa, USSR. Due to an accident at the Siberia – Ural – Volga region gas propod, an explosion occurred at the time of the passage of two passenger trains. It killed 575 people, mostly tourists traveling to rest on the Black Sea coast;
- October 4, 1988 – an explosion at the Sverdlovsk-Sortirovochny station in a collision of two trains, one of which was carrying explosives (46.8 tons of TNT, 40 tons of hexogen);
- December 19, 1947 – explosion in the Nagaev Bay of the steamship “General Vatutin”, which destroyed two ships and most of the port buildings. 90 people were killed;
- April 16, 1947 – Explosion in Texas City – then 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded and subsequent fires and explosions killed at least 581 people;
- April 18, 1947 – British engineers set off an explosion on Heligoland Island. The purpose of the explosion was to destroy German bunkers and structures. Which detonated about 4,000 torpedo warheads, 9,000 depth charges, 91,000 rounds of various calibers, a total of 6,700 tons of explosives. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest detonation of explosives.
Install Our Wildlife and Travel App