On the 4th of August, massive explosions rocked Lebanon’s capital Beirut, claiming at least 135 lives, injuring about 5,000 people, and displacing at least 300,000 as of Wednesday, according to the latest reports by the Guardian and the New York Times.
Major General Abbas Ibrahim, of Lebanon’s General Security Directorate, attributed the second, biggest blast to confiscated explosive materials – 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – which had been stored for 6 years. The first blast can possibly be attributed to fireworks warehouse at the port, yet the exact cause is undetermined, the New York Times reports.
The explosions damaged warehouses, buildings, and grain silos in the port, which stores 85% of country’s grain – most of which is now destroyed.
As of now, several countries have announced their citizens dead or injured, including Egypt (one person dead and one missing), Morocco (one injured), Australia (one dead), the United States (announced injuries of 48 UN staff members, 27 of their family members and three visitors without specifying their nationality), Russia (one injured), Kazakhstan (one injured), the Netherlands (five injured). No Czechs were reported dead or injured so far.
The Czech Republic promptly responded to the explosions by deciding to send a special Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team to Beirut. Further information is expected.