Two huge explosions have rocked Beirut, killing at least 78 people, injuring thousands more, and sending an enormous blast wave across the city that shattered windows, knocked down doors and shook buildings.
Lebanon’s prime minister, Hassan Diab, said the main blast at Beirut’s port was caused when an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate had been ignited. He said the chemical had been left unsecured for six years in a warehouse, and vowed to punish those responsible.
As the death toll climbed on the discovery of more bodies in the wreckage, at least 4,000 were reported injured. Hundreds of homes were left uninhabitable by the blast which also destroyed huge grain silos, a devastating blow to a country where bread was already scarce and which is dependent on imports by sea.
This is an explosion measured in kilotons, and as shown below, you can see a large hemispherical shockwave that looks like something out an old nuclear weapon tests from the 1950s.
It is stunning.