Before And After: Havoc In Lebanon As Blasts Leave Over 100 Dead
Two massive explosions ripped through Lebanon's capital Beirut on Tuesday killing more than 100 people and wounding over 4,000. The explosions sent shockwaves across the Lebanese capital, shattering windows and causing apartment balconies to collapse.
The explosions -- which were heard in Nicosia, 240 kilometres away in Cyprus -- were logged by seismologists, registering as the equivalent of a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.
The second blast sent an enormous orange fireball into the sky, immediately followed by a tornado-like shockwave that flattened the port and shattered windows across the city.
About 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored in the Beirut port warehouse that exploded Tuesday, devastating large parts of the Lebanese capital, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said.
Ammonium nitrate is an industrial chemical commonly used in fertilisers and as an explosive for quarrying and mining. It is an oxidiser considered relatively safe if uncontaminated and stored properly. But it is extremely dangerous if contaminated, mixed with fuel or stored unsafely.