At least 78 dead and 4,000 injured
Lebanon's health minister said the Beirut blasts have killed at least 78 people and injured an estimated 4,000, according to Reuters.
Read more: The videos show the shocking destruction of the Beirut explosions
The premises of the Finnish mission were completely destroyed
Tiina Tähtinen, Communications of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, told STT late Tuesday that the office premises of the Finnish mission were completely damaged by the explosion. There was no one inside the mission at the time of the accident.
One Finn was slightly injured
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs says that one Finn reached from Lebanon was slightly injured. After the Beirut explosions, the ministry reached a total of 18 Finns who had made a travel declaration to Lebanon. None of those reached said they needed help. Eight of those reached are in the country and ten are not.
Photo: Janine Haidar / AFP / Lehtikuva
The explosion was caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate
About 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut, says Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, according to his representative.
According to Tukes, ammonium nitrate is not a combustible substance, but it accelerates the combustion of other substances. Pure ammonium nitrate can also explode under certain conditions, for example when heated.
Ammonium nitrate is usually used as a fertilizer. Odorless, crystalline ammonium nitrate has been the subject of several industrial explosions over the past decades. For example, the Taliban has used the substance in its improvised explosive devices.
Read more: What the heck is ammonium nitrate? The same substance behind many industrial explosions - “We wouldn’t feed today’s population without it”
Read more: Lebanese Prime Minister: About 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut
The explosion gave rise to earthquake waves
The explosions are said to have been so powerful that they caused earthquake waves. According to CNN, the waves corresponded to an earthquake of magnitude 3.3.
The injured were transported for treatment in the vicinity of the blast site.
Photo: / Mohamed Azakir / Reuters
Toxic gases in the air
Beirut is reported to have toxic gases in the air after the explosion, news channel CNN reports, citing a warning from the U.S. embassy in Beirut. The embassy urges those in the area to stay indoors and wear face masks whenever possible.
The explosion felt more than 200 miles away
The force of the explosion was so enormous that its sound was heard all over the country. The explosion was also felt in Cyprus, which is 240 kilometers away.
At the time of the explosion, Taavi Sundell, a researcher at the Finnish Middle East Institute, was at home with his family, located about three kilometers from the scene of the explosion.
- First there was a smaller voice. We thought the plane was flying over. Then it popped up properly. It felt like it had exploded right next door. Then the windows popped in.
Read more: The explosion in Beirut broke the windows of the Finnish Taavi home: “The first thought was a bomb”
The damage caused by the explosion is massive.
Photo: Patrick Baz / AFP / Lehtikuva
Those responsible are promised a penalty
According to the Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, it is not acceptable for 2 750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate to have been in storage for six years without taking into account the necessary safeguards.
"Those responsible for this disaster will be punished," Diab said, according to AFP.
Fire in the port area of Beirut after the explosion.
Image: AFP / Magazine image
The countries offer their assistance to Lebanon
Indeed, many countries have already pledged aid to Lebanon, including France, Germany and the United States.
In addition, the Gulf countries offer their assistance. Qatar, Iraq and Kuwait are planning to send medical aid to Lebanon, CNN says.
Israel will help regardless of the war
Israel also provided humanitarian assistance to its neighbor on Tuesday. Israel has provided medical, humanitarian and immediate emergency assistance through international intermediaries. Israel’s outstretched hand is a remarkable gesture, as the countries are technically at war with each other.