Two huge explosions have rocked Beirut, killing at least 78 people, while injuring thousands more. Initial reports suggest that a fireworks warehouse was involved in the explosion.
According to Lebanon’s prime minister, Hassan Diab, the main blast took place at Beirut’s port when about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate had been ignited. He added that the chemical had been left unsecured for six years in a warehouse.
What is more, the Lebanese security chief, Abbas Ibrahim, blamed combustible chemicals stored in a warehouse, with the interior minister, Mohammed Fahmi, saying that ammonium nitrate had been among the materials stored and called for an investigation into how it ignited.
As of now, the health minister, Hamad Hassan, informs that the confirmed death toll is at 78, with at least 4,000 injured. However, the final death toll is expected to be significantly higher.
In addition, Guardian reports that hundreds of homes were left uninhabitable by the blast, which also destroyed huge grain silos.
Another warning aftermath is air quality levels. the US Embassy in Beirut released a statement advising people to wear masks and stay indoors. Nevertheless, the American University of Aerosol Research Lab’s indicators showed that air quality levels had returned to “Good” by 7pm on Tuesday, however, after showing “Moderate” levels of particulate matter an hour earlier.
Now, Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council recommended declaring Beirut a disaster-stricken city, declaring a two-week state of emergency in the capital and handing over security responsibility to military authorities.