A warehouse blast in Beirut on late Tuesday night has left at least 135 dead and around 5,000 injured at last count.
The explosion, which has reportedly destroyed an entire section of the city, was also felt 150 miles away in Cyprus. In addition to the mass casualties caused by the blast, as many as two lakh people have been left homeless.
Though the cause of the blast is unknown; it is speculated that a dangerous amount of ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse may have caused the catastrophe.
Following the blasts, Lebanon’s President, Michel Aoun, held an emergency meeting early Wednesday, in which he declared a two-week-long state emergency. Meanwhile, the country’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, announced a three-day mourning period and “vowed to hold those responsible for the tragedy accountable.” It is said the Prime Minister had mentioned a ‘dangerous warehouse’ in the location years back, yet no investigation was done.
The country received condolences from various world leaders after the tragedy struck. Many countries like France, Kuwait, and Qatar have promised to send medical aid to the city. Prime Minister Modi also tweeted his sympathies before his Ayodha trip.
Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 5, 2020
As of now, there is a rescue operation underway in the city to save those trapped under the debris caused by the blast. This disaster comes at a difficult time for Lebanon, especially since it has been facing economic hardship. The blast has resulted in the loss of much of the city’s food grain for the next few months.