August 4, 2020, The capital city of Lebanon, Beirut witnessed the biggest explosion in its history. The magnitude of the explosion was so massive, it created earthquake-like tremors and it was felt up to 200 km from the point of explosion.
How did the Beirut explosion happen?
Lebanon is situated on the east coast of the Mediterranean sea and Beirut is the capital of Lebanon. Beirut port is located on the north side of the city. On August 4 evening exactly 6 pm a big warehouse adjacent to this port caught fire. It is still unclear how it caught fire. A large stockpile of firecrackers was stored in this warehouse also caught fire. Due to the firecrackers, dark smoke started coming out of the warehouse. People in the city noticed the black smoke. However, before getting any information about it, another warehouse beside this warehouse exploded with a huge blast on exactly 6:08 pm.
The magnitude of Beirut Blast
This explosion gave rise to a huge mushroom-shaped cloud in the sky of Beirut. This cloud was very much similar to the one which we notice in any nuclear explosion. This cloud was dark red. The explosion also caused a very strong shockwave, shattering glasses of numerous structures and cars, miles away from the site. This explosion was also caused an earthquake of 3.5 Richter scales. There is not a single house in the city without damage.
As per the government authorities, more than 300,000 people became homeless. The situation is so worst that when the governor of Beirut Marwan Abboud reached the blast site for inspection, she turned emotional. As per the initial figures, the blast caused the property damage of worth around US$15 Billion. All the city hospitals are full of patients injured due to blast. Historically people of Lebanon had witnessed years of civil war. There was a time when, car bombs, RPG fires, IED blasts were part of daily life in Lebanon. However, nobody ever witnessed a blast of such a massive scale.
The Israel Factor
For the last several days, there have been increased tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. On 22nd July Israeli aircraft had attacked in Syria, which caused the death of one of the senior commanders of Hezbollah. On August 4 Israel shoot missiles on a few locations in Syria. Just before blast, few aircraft were seen in the sky of Beirut, because of which the primary suspect of the blast was considered to be Israel. However, Israel refused all the allegations of its involvement in carrying out this blast. Later Labenon government as well confirmed the same.
The Actual Reason Behind Beirut Blast
Later government authorities confirmed that the actual reason for the blast was Ammonium Nitrate. It is a highly explosive chemical, which was stored in a warehouse just beside another warehouse with firecrackers, which initially caught fire. Toal 2700 tons of Ammonium Nitrate was stored on this site. This huge stockpile of Ammonium Nitrate was the actual reason for the massive explosion.