Beirut Blast All You Need To Know -disastrous events of 2020

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Beirut Blast All You Need To Know – Disastrous events of 2020


What happened?

A large explosion occurred near Beirut’s port area that resulted in a fire, apparently triggering a second, far stronger blast that sent a shock wave across the city.

A mushroom cloud of red-tinged smoke, visible from afar, billowed above the site of blasts.

 

What caused the explosions?

Detonation on 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored unsafely at a warehouse in the port.

Lebanon : Know the country

Capital – Beirut

Currency – Lebanese pound

President – Michel Aoun

Prime MinisterHassan Diab

Official language – Arabic

Lebanon –  “Switzerland of the East“

Beirut – the Paris of the Middle East

Borders– Syria, Israel and  Mediterranean Basin

What is ammonium nitrate?

Ø Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) – white – crystalline chemical – soluble in water

Ø Main ingredient in the manufacture of commercial explosives used in mining and construction.

Ø Relatively safe when stored properly.

Ø Over time it absorbs little bits of moisture and it eventually turns into an enormous rock – makes it more dangerous because if a fire reaches it, the chemical reaction will be much more intense.

Ø Pure ammonium nitrate – not an explosive on its own.

Ø It is classified as an oxidiser under the United Nations classification of dangerous goods.

Ø If mixed with ingredients like fuel or some other contaminants, or because of some other external factors, it can be very explosive.

Ø In the majority of terror attacks in India, including those in Pulwama, Varanasi, Malegaon, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, ammonium nitrate has been used along with initiator explosives like RDX.

Ø The manufacture, conversion, bagging, import, export, transport, possession for sale or use of ammonium nitrate – covered under The Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012 – storage of ammonium nitrate in large quantities in populated areas illegal in India.

Ø Ammonium nitrate has been associated with deadly industrial accidents. In 1947, a ship carrying 2,000 tonnes of the chemical exploded in Texas, killing 581 people.

Where and how will Beirut begin its recovery

  • The blast wiped out 85% of grain silos.
  • The port manages 60% of all imports for the country.
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  • Some 80% of the country’s wheat supply is imported.
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  • Official currency spiraled into free fall and bail out talks with the International Monetary Fund stalled.
  • Up to 300,000 people may have been left temporarily without a place to live. Schools are expected to open as shelters for homeless residents.
  • Repairs could cost $5 billion.
  • The explosions could also threaten Lebanon’s food supply, as storage warehouses were destroyed.
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