Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Beirut Blasts: Photos before and after the explosions leveled the port city

Twin blasts rocked the port city of Beirut in Lebanon when nearly 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate often used to make fertilisers and even bombs, exploded, killing over 100 and injuring thousands

Published: Aug 6, 2020 05:45:30 PM IST
Updated: Aug 6, 2020 06:14:11 PM IST

Twin explosions rocked the port city of Beirut in Lebanon on August 5, 2020, after 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, stored without adequate safety measures exploded. The impact of the blast created a 140 metre crater in the city's coast, damaged three hospitals and hundreds of buildings across the city and killed over 100 and injured thousands. The loud explosions were heard as far as Cyprus, over 100 miles away.

On left is an image of the port of Beirut before the blasts as seen on Google Earth. On the right, a satellite image from the Russian space agency Roscosmos shows the area heavily damaged by the explosions and blast wave.
Photo: [Top] Google Earth; [Bottom] Russian Space Agency Roscosmos/Handout via Reuters

Here, you can see a view of the port with grain cranes and the grain silo, in the photo taken in January 1996 by Reuters. On the right, is the silo and its surroundings, including the cranes and shipping containers completely destroyed by the blast. Beirut now has less than one month supply of grain, and is staring at a food crisis. Raoul Nehme, the country's minister of economy and trade told Reuters, according to news reports, that the country needs at least three months' supply to avert a crisis. 
Photo: [Left] Reuters; [Right] Reuters/Issam Abdallah

The Beirut port as seen on August 22, 2019, nearly one year before the blast, and the extent of the damage at the same scene on August 5, 2020.
Photo: [Left and Right] Reuters/Mohammed Azakir