The Beirut port explosion on Tuesday 4th August sent shock-waves across the city, causing widespread damage even on the outskirts of the capital. The explosion took place in the Beirut Silos port. The reason for this explosion is said to be 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate, kept for many years. Now in such a quantity it came from, why was it kept here and who has kept it. Apart from this, it is just an accident or it has been triggered, before knowing all this, we know its geopolitical importance.
Beirut is the capital of Lebanon. It is a West Asian country and has a population of 68.5 lac. There are 2 primary religions here. many people from different religions also lives here, but Islam and Christianity are the main religions here. About 54% of the population follows Islam and 40% of the population follows Christianity. So this is not an Islamic country. It is not just the ‘Islamic Republic of Lebanon’ but the ‘Republic of Lebanon’. Apart from this, it is a member of the OIC (Organization of Islamic cooperation), is a member of ‘United Nation’ and has also been the main supporter of ‘Non-aligned Movement’.
Reason of the blast
Actually it started in September 2013 when a ship was sailing from Georgia to Mozambique. And due to some technical problem this ship docked at the Port of Beirut because the ship needed some repair work. During that time, when the ship was inspected, it was found that 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate were filled in it. And in the inquiry it was also found that they didn’t have solid paperwork. Due to this, the authority of Beirut stopped that ship and did not allow it to sail any further.
(Ammonium nitrate is used for fertilizers. If an explosive substance like ‘aluminum powder’ or ‘fuel oil’ is mixed then it is capable of causing a huge explosion. That’s why many countries are trying to restrict its sale)
So when the ship was stopped from being forward, the ship owners abandoned the entire project and refused to accept the ship as their own and said that Lebanon can kept that ship, they will not claim it. Now the biggest problem in front of Lebanon was how and where to keep large quantities of ammonium nitrate. So in 2015, the Beirut Authority decided to keep it in a warehouse near the port. Since then it was lying the same and this is the reason why such a big accident has happened. So, it is a big negligence of Lebanon that such a huge amount of flammable material like ammonium nitrate was kept in the port itself.
Impact of the blast
In the above image we can see how devastating the blast was. According to the officials the death toll from the explosion killing more than 200 people and injuring 5,000 plus others are expected to rise as search-and-rescue operations continued for people listed missing under the rubble in areas near the port. As per Beirut governor Marwan Abboud over 300000 people have been temporarily homeless and collective losses might reach 11 billion pounds.
How powerful the blast was
1) The shock wave of the explosion was heard and felt as far away as the island of Cyprus, more than 240 kilometres across the Mediterranean.
2) Seismologists measured the event as the equivalent of a 3.3-magnitude earthquake, sending tremors throughout Beirut’s industrial waterfront into the city’s densely populated downtown areas and residential neighborhoods.
3)The blast shock wave leveled the buildings around the port and also caused significant damage to the rest of the capital, which has a population of about 2 million.
4) The blast immediately destroyed the dockside area and left a crater approximately 140 metres (460 ft) which is now flooded with sea water.
5) Officials reported that warehouses up to three kilometres in the area were completely flattened following the blast, scattering debris and broken glass even further.
6) Damages were reported at the city’s international airport approximately 10 kilometres away.
Afterwards of the blast
Now on this blast, the interior minister of Lebanon has also made the same statement that the blast was due to ammonium nitrate but when Donald Trump was asked by a reporter about the Lebanon blast, at first he expressed grieve, but then as always, he commented something extras and said that “this blast is not an negligence but an attack” and he has also talked to his general about this. After this statement, the question now arises as to who got the blast done and why.
The first suspicion goes to Israel, but Israel has confirmed it with various sources that they have nothing to do with this blast. Israel is suspicious because there is a so-called group in Lebanon named ‘Hizbullah’ that is actively involved in Lebanese politics and other internal matters. It is a militant group and apart from Israel many countries consider this group as terrorist. And they constantly target Israel. So on the basis of a theory it was said that this brutal blast was done by Israel to send a message to Lebanon to restrict the influence of Hizbullah. But Israel has rejected it outright.
So now if Donald Trump is saying that the blast at Beirut Port is an attack, then who did it and what does he want to massage? It may be that further investigation is done in this case and it will be known who has got it done and why because Trump has given the assurance of help in its investigation.