The monstrous blast that took place in Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, has killed more than 100 people, while thousands of people are missing/injured. Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, claimed that the blast was caused by an explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate.
Beirut Blast Caused By The Explosion of 2750 Tons Of Ammonium Nitrate – Insiderfolks, Residents of Beirut is in shock and mourning after a huge explosion at the city’s port tore through the Lebanese capital, killing at least 135 people, injuring more than 4,000 and displacing around 300,000, according to emergency services. Hospitals are overwhelmed, and some are too damaged to operate.
The explosion, which had blown out windows and destroyed properties for miles, was initially blamed on 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in an unsecured warehouse, with no safety measures in place since 2014 at Beirut ‘s cargo port.
The New York Times, citing public documents, stated that Lebanese officials had known about the threats for many years, but had not acted on them.
Beirut Blast Caused By The Explosion of 2750 Tons Of Ammonium Nitrate – Insiderfolks, Subsequently, the government launched an inquiry to ascertain, within five days, the exact cause of the explosion and “who was responsible.”
“I will not rest until we find the person responsible for what has happened, keep him accountable and implement the most serious penalties,” said Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab early Wednesday, adding that it was unreasonable that such a quantity of explosives had been present in the warehouse for six years without any “preventive action.”
Lebanon ‘s cabinet said Wednesday that all port officials who have been overseeing storage and policing since 2014 will be under house arrest to be supervised by the Lebanese Army, according to Reuters, quoting ministerial sources.
Ammonium nitrate is widely used as a pesticide, but it is also a factor of the mining of explosives when mixed with fuel oil and ignited by explosives.
This was used to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people. Just 2 tons were used for the bombardment.
The chemical will even combust when it comes to an intense blast, which appeared to flame in a section of the port of Beirut before the huge explosion.
Local television images and videos posted to social media after the explosion shows bleeding people wandering down debris-stretched streets.
Health workers needed to treat patients in parking lots as the capacity of hospitals was beyond.
And hundreds of more people are still missing — the Instagram account named “LocateVictimsBeirut” on Wednesday morning, where residents share pictures of their lost friends and relatives, accrued 63,500 followers.
“I was in the car when we felt the huge blast, the airbags opened,” one resident of Beirut told CNBC. “I ran away — it’s apocalyptic.
There’s no other word to describe it. We ‘re walking on the glass, the entire area of Achrafieh,” he said, describing one of Beirut ‘s oldest residential quarters, a popular tourist area is known for its narrow winding streets, cafes, and bars that were essentially flattened.
“All I saw was bleeding from their hands, their bodies, all over the place. People crying in pain. I’m still in shock.”
Yumna Fawaz, a local journalist, described the populace as “shocked.” “We’ve lost our people and our city. My entire apartment has been ruined,” she said.
Another witness identified “chaos” and said that several people had been wounded, some of them still looking for family members.
The governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, called the tragedy a “country catastrophe” and burst into tears as he toured the city.
“There is no word to characterize the tragedy of yesterday’s catastrophe in Beirut,” said Lebanon ‘s President Michel Aoun on Wednesday, according to the Lebanese News Agency.
“I offer my heart and my prayers to the families … and I pray God to heal the injured, to heal the shattered hearts, and to give us all the courage and strength to rise together to confront the painful burns that have scarred the confront of Beirut.”
Crisis would ‘accelerate’ the fall of government
The acute crises in unemployment, housing, overstretched social care and ruined properties and businesses — aside from the already struggling economy — will only worsen the government’s failure, Eurasia Group analysts said Wednesday morning
“The government’s credibility is declining, and large sections of the public no longer believe that the government is capable of managing,” the consultancy wrote.
“This, in our view, accelerates the movement towards the collapse of the current government.
The economic crisis will also deepen as the port is the main commercial valve and the base for many stored goods awaiting clearance.”
Among the structures demolished at the port of Beirut was the largest grain silo of the country — the explosion left Lebanon with less than a month of grain supplies.
Many countries have provided assistance to Lebanon, including France, the United States , the United States, the UAE , Qatar, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, and, most surprisingly, Israel — with whom Lebanon has no diplomatic relations.
The French President tweeted that he would fly to Beirut on Thursday to deliver a message of “fraternity and unity” from his country.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his condolences to Prime Minister Diab on Wednesday by providing assistance in the wake, according to NBC News.
Yet any progress for Lebanon will now be “massively difficult,” said Rodger Shanahan, a research fellow in the Middle East at the Lowy Institute in Australia.
“This is the last thing a country like Lebanon wants right now,” Shanahan said to CNBC “Capital Link” on Wednesday.
“Any nation would consider that tough, but Lebanon was possibly in the midst of the worst financial recession … so now here’s another sign of weak governance — it’s only going to affirm the ordinary Lebanese citizen ‘s perception that they don’t have a government that can rule properly.”
Catastrophe in the current historic situation
The tragedy hit a country still in turmoil and rife with domestic and international political tensions.
Lebanon is facing the most severe economic recession in its history — which analysts call worse than its brutal civil war of 1975-1990—with rising inflation and inequality and free-falling currency, mainly due to widespread state-level corruption and financial mismanagement.
People’s life savings in the local currency, the Lebanese pound, have been wiped out. In November, the World Bank cautioned that half of the country ‘s population of 6.8 million may fell below the poverty line.
And this was all before the coronavirus pandemic hit — now residents are struggling to afford food and basic supplies, with angry protesters protesting government indifference and injustice pressuring them to choose between virus infection and famine.
The country has also defaulted on its sovereign debt; Lebanon ‘s debt-to-GDP of more than 150 percent is the third-largest in the world.
The lack of dollars in the country has limited the government’s ability to import goods, and has caused banks to curb deposits, leaving people unable to access their funds.
Talks with the International Monetary Fund about an emergency bailout package broke out last month.
Smoke is emerging from the blast site in Beirut , Lebanon, on August 4, 2020.
More than 1.5 million Syrian refugees are now residing in the tiny Mediterranean region. Endemic state corruption, declining infrastructure, frequent power cuts, a pollution crisis, and the inability of the government to deliver many public services contributed to major demonstrations that started in October and continue in numerous iterations.
On Monday, Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned, condemning the government’s lack of intervention and its inability to fix the country’s financial challenges that are making it a “failed state.”
Then the port blast came as tensions plummeted ahead of the U.N. Court decision set for Friday on the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in the 2005 bombing of a bus.
The four defendants in the case are all Hezbollah leaders, the Iranian-backed Shia militia, and a political organization generally regarded as Lebanon’s most influential political force. The suspects dispute any involvement in the death of Hariri. Hezbollah is the U.S. government’s official terrorist group.
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