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Beirut's Day of Destruction: Explosion devastates the Lebanese capital


Bloody, dazed and weeping residents wandered through Beirut into the night and looked at the devastation around them. They had stunned fifteen years of civil war to cause harm, but even they had seen nothing of the sort.

The explosion that destroyed the city's port yesterday also devastated homes, shopping centers, hotels and businesses in the surrounding suburbs.

At the city's airport, part of the roof collapsed. That was six miles away.

The governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, burst into tears when he visited the explosion site. "Beirut is a ruined city," he said.

Marwan Ramadan was 500 meters from the port, but was still torn from his feet by the explosion. "It was a real horror show," he said. "I haven't seen anything like that since the war days."

People on the street in Beirue, which after the explosion is littered with rubble from damaged buildings

A man reacts to an explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4

A man reacts to an explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4

A violent explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and letting huge clouds of smoke rise into the sky

A violent explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and letting huge clouds of smoke rise into the sky

Whole buildings were left in ruins in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion hit the city and wreaked havoc for miles

Whole buildings were left in ruins in Beirut yesterday after a chemical explosion hit the city and wreaked havoc for miles

A big explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut today. The explosion, which shook entire buildings and shattered glass, was felt in several parts of the city

A big explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut today. The explosion, which shook entire buildings and shattered glass, was felt in several parts of the city

In gloomy scenes, citizens were desperate when their homes were damaged, walls were blown, and windows were broken

In gloomy scenes, citizens were desperate when their homes were damaged, walls were blown, and windows were broken

A view of damage in a house in Burj Abu Haidar in Beirut

Paola Rebeiz was watching TV when an explosion in the center of Beirut hit her home in St. Nicolas, about a kilometer south of the explosion, and smashed all her windows

The explosion has seriously damaged people's homes. Paola Rebeiz was watching TV when an explosion in the center of Beirut hit her home in St. Nicolas, about a kilometer south of the site of the explosion, and smashed all the windows (right).

A view shows the damage received from a store in the Burj Abu Haidar in Beirut

A view shows the damage received from a store in the Burj Abu Haidar in Beirut

Glass is broken by the explosion at the Cavalier Hotel in Beirut after the explosion

Glass is broken by the explosion at the Cavalier Hotel in Beirut after the explosion

A cell phone image showing a general view of the port area with smoke from a large area, with damage and debris after a large explosion, shook Beirut's port area

A cell phone image showing a general view of the port area with smoke from a large area, with damage and debris after a large explosion, shook Beirut's port area

It devastated the immediately surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still fighting flames tonight, and even devastated areas that were miles away from the explosion site

It devastated the immediately surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still fighting flames tonight, and even devastated areas that were miles away from the explosion site

Fires in the port of Beirut continue until late at night after an explosion that is believed to be caused by chemicals

Fires in the port of Beirut continue until late at night after an explosion that is believed to be caused by chemicals

Clouds of smoke at the site of the big explosion and buildings become twisted rubble

Clouds of smoke at the site of the big explosion and buildings become twisted rubble

The explosion ripped through buildings and blew bricks from the walls and brought them onto the street.

The explosion ripped through buildings and blew bricks from the walls and brought them onto the street.

Dramatic shots show smoke rising from the port area just before a huge fireball explodes in the sky and covers the city with a thick mushroom cloud

Dramatic material on social media shows people screaming while a massive explosion shakes the Lebanese capital's waterfront

Dramatic shots show smoke rising from the port area just before a huge fireball explodes in the sky and covers the city with a thick mushroom cloud

People drive past a car that was destroyed after a building wall collapsed due to the explosion that had caused chaos for miles

People drive past a car that was destroyed after a building wall collapsed due to the explosion that had caused chaos for miles

The images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry that devastated the main entry point into a country that relies on food imports to feed its more than six million people

The images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry that devastated the main entry point into a country that relies on food imports to feed its more than six million people

The explosion devastated parts of the city when Lebanon was struggling with the worst economic crisis in decades

The explosion devastated parts of the city when Lebanon was struggling with the worst economic crisis in decades

Firefighters ignite a fire at the site of an explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut

Firefighters ignite a fire at the site of an explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut

The lobby of a building overlooking the central martyrs' square of the Lebanese capital Beirut, with rubble and debris from the street after massive explosions in the nearby port of Beirut

The lobby of a building overlooking the central martyrs' square of the Lebanese capital Beirut, with rubble and debris from the street after massive explosions in the nearby port of Beirut

Omar Kinno was sitting on the sidewalk in front of a hospital, holding back the tears. Kinno, a Syrian, said one of his sisters was killed when the explosion shook her apartment near the port and broke another sister's neck.

His injured mother and father were taken to a hospital, but he did not know which, and he called to find them.

"I have no idea what happened to my parents. I'm totally lost, ”he said.

The vital infrastructure was damaged and the Roum Hospital called for generators. A medical center received 300 emergency patients. "I've never seen this before. It was terrible, ”said a medic.

There was confusion all over the city when people evacuated damaged houses or tried to find a family. Motorcyclists made their way through the traffic and carried the injured.

Soldiers cordoned off the port last night, warning that the burning chemicals could emit toxic fumes.

Regardless of this, relatives of the missing people arrived on the sidelines.

A woman in her twenties shouted at security forces and asked about the fate of her brother, a port employee.

"His name is Jad, his eyes are green," she pleaded in vain, since the security forces wouldn't let her enter.

Another woman nearby fainted when asked about her brother who worked in the harbor.

But the security forces were not immune to emotions either.

The body of one of her colleagues was brought to them on a stretcher. A fellow officer pulled out a photo of the dead man with his fiancé, and the comrades wept.

Firefighters spray water on a fire after an explosion was heard in Beirut

Firefighters spray water on a fire after an explosion was heard in Beirut

A car was turned upside down by the explosion that hit Beirut yesterday and caused widespread damage

A car was turned upside down by the explosion that hit Beirut yesterday and caused widespread damage

There was a structural fire near the port of Beirut, followed by a second massive explosion that damaged the surrounding buildings and injured thousands

There was a structural fire near the port of Beirut, followed by a second massive explosion that damaged the surrounding buildings and injured thousands

Major infrastructures such as hospitals were damaged, as was the city's airport, although it was six miles from the explosion and revealed the extent of the trauma

Major infrastructures such as hospitals were damaged, as was the city's airport, although it was six miles from the explosion and revealed the extent of the trauma

Rescue workers search a street for survivors after a major explosion caused buildings to collapse

Rescue workers search a street for survivors after a major explosion caused buildings to collapse

In the parish of St. Maron, the priest sent his sermon to his congregation, as is common with the corona virus. An initial explosion turns off the power and the candles behind him go out ominously – but he persists without knowing what is approaching.

Seconds later the main pressure wave hits and brings stained glass windows to the altar. On its flight, the footage shows how a piece of masonry hits its back and sends it to the ground.

But in a rare positive message yesterday, the locals reported that he was not seriously injured.

In the harbor itself, the hangars looked like charred cans, everything was destroyed beyond recognition when fire helicopters flew overhead and released water.

Ships burned at sea. The UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, UNIFIL, said one of its boats in the port was damaged and some of its peacekeepers were injured, some seriously.

The authorities feared that fires on boats could trigger further explosions or oil spills if they went down.

"The explosion caused an opening and there were serious injuries on board," said an Egyptian sailor, pointing to his ship, the Mero Sar, in port.

City newspaper reporters, Lebanon Daily Star, released pictures of their own office that were wiped out.

Miles from the explosion site, balconies were torn down, the ceiling collapsed, and the windows broken.

Even largely undamaged areas were dark last night, with power outages across the city.

A woman covered in blood from the waist down a ruined street as she spoke angrily on her phone. In another street a woman with a bloody face looked distraught and staggered through the traffic with two friends at her side.

A young man came over. "This country is cursed," he murmured.

After the fatal explosion that devastated Beirut, firefighters set fire to a fire in the city's port this evening

After the fatal explosion that devastated Beirut, firefighters set fire to a fire in the city's port this evening

Pictures show the scene of an explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut that devastated the surrounding buildings

Pictures show the scene of an explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut that devastated the surrounding buildings

A general view of the port area with smoke from an area of ​​a large explosion, with damage and debris after a large explosion, shook the port area of ​​Beirut

A general view of the port area with smoke from an area of ​​a large explosion, with damage and debris after a large explosion, shook the port area of ​​Beirut

A car that tipped on the roof of a freeway today was earlier on the roof due to the devastating effects of the explosion

A car that tipped on the roof of a freeway today was earlier on the roof due to the devastating effects of the explosion

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