2020 Beirut Explosion

Politics • Middle Eastern
Beirut port hit by a new fire
A video of the fire at the port of Beirut, posted on Twitter by activist Imad Bazzi
A video of the fire at the port of Beirut, posted on Twitter by activist Imad Bazzi Credit: @TrellaLB via Twitter (Screenshot)

Weeks after the explosion at Beirut's port, a large fire has erupted. According to reports, a warehouse has started burning which had been damaged previously from the explosion.

So far it is not clear what caused the fire and which extend it has. The Lebanese Army has stated that the warehouse had oil and tires in store.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Lebanon has four months of wheat supply
Raoul Nehme
Raoul Nehme Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Lebanon's outgoing economy minister Raoul Nehme affirmed the country has enough wheat to cover four months of internal demand.

According to him Lebanon has 30,000 tonnes of wheat in stocks and 110,000 tonnes are expected to reach the country in the next two weeks.

The outgoing government, which resigned on Monday, will keep subsidies to basic commodities, he said.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Lebanon's government resigns
Hassan Diab
Hassan Diab Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab addressed the nation Monday night, announcing his resignation and that of his cabinet.

Three ministers, and nine members of the parliament, had already stepped down after mass protests against the government erupted in the country.

The cabinet was formed in January with the support of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its allies.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Lebanon: $300 million fund pledged by world leaders
Damages of the Beirut explosion
Damages of the Beirut explosion Credit: Mehr News Agency / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

A nearly $300 million fund in humanitarian assistance has been pledged by world leaders to Lebanon and its people. During a virtual conference, led by France's Macron, over 30 world leaders pledged and offered their support for country and the people of Beirut. The "assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency."

Politics • Middle Eastern
Lebanon: Resignation of three ministers and 9 members of parliament

On Sunday, Lebanon's Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad and environment minister Damianos Kattar resigned from the government in the wake of the Beirut explosion and the pressure that followed. Nine members of parliament also resigned that day: Marwan Hamadeh, Paula Yaacoubian, Nadim Gemayel, Samy Gemayel, Elias Hankash, Neemat Ephrem, Michel Moawad, Dima Jamali and Henry Helou.

On Monday the Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm also resigned and urged others to resign as well and demanded earlier elections. She said she resigned "out of my conviction that staying in power in these conditions, without fundamental change to the system, will not lead to the reform which we worked to achieve."

Politics • Middle Eastern
Lebanon: Over 110 injured during Beirut protests
Lebanon: Over 110 injured during Beirut protests
Credit: via Twitter

Over 10,000 people have taken the streets and protested against the government and political elite after the explosion in the capital city of Lebanon.

During these protests over 110 people have been injured with dozens of them taken to hospitals according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Beirut explosion death toll rises to 137, residents demand answers
Beirut explosion death toll rises to 137, residents demand answers
Credit: Mehr News Agency / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Tuesday's explosion in Beirut, that was caused by 2,750 tonnes of unsafely stored ammonium nitrate, has killed at least 137 people and injured approx. 5000. The government has put several Beirut port officials under house arrest pending an investigation into the explosion and has promised the "maximum punishment" for those responsible.

Beirut residents are now demanding answers, accusing authorities of neglect, corruption and mismanagement. "I've known all the time that we are led by incompetent people, incompetent government [...] But I tell you something - what they have done now is absolutely criminal," so the Beirut resident Chadia Elmeouchi Noun.

Politics • European • Germany
Germany confirms death of diplomat in Beirut explosion

The German minister for foreign affairs Heiko Maas has announced that a member of the German embassy in Beirut has died from the consequences of the explosion in the Lebanese capital city.

He stated that "our worst fears have been confirmed. A member of our embassy in Beirut has been killed in her home as a result of the explosion" and added that his "thanks go to all those who, like our late colleague, take great personal risks every day all over the world in the service of our country".

Politics • Middle Eastern
Stored ammonium nitrate cause of Beirut explosion, officials knew of its danger
Stored ammonium nitrate cause of Beirut explosion, officials knew of its danger
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Lebanese officials claim the explosion in Beirut were caused by an accidental detonation of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the port for years. The chemicals had been stored in the port for years after arriving in a Russian-owned cargo ship. Public records show that between 2014 and 2017, Lebanese customs officials wrote at least six letters to courts to get guidance on how to dispose of the material, but the records show no response from the judiciary.

According to the latest reports, approx. 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes and over 100 people were killed by the blast.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Beirut explosion kills at least 100, thousands injured
Beirut explosion kills at least 100, thousands injured
Credit: Davidushka64 / Wikimedia Commons

The Lebanese Red Cross reports that at least 100 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in the massive explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital on Tuesday.

"Until now over 4,000 people have been injured and over 100 have lost their lives. Our teams are still conducting search and rescue operations in the surrounding areas," to the Lebanese Red Cross in a statement.

Marwan Abboud, Beirut's governor, said that the blast has left over 200,000 people homeless, with damages reaching at least $3 billion.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Massive explosion shakes Lebanon's capital Beirut
Massive explosion shakes Lebanon's capital Beirut
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

A large explosion ripped through the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, blowing out windows in buildings across the city, injuring many, and killing at least 10 people. The sound of the explosion reached Cyprus.

The cause of the explosion was initially believed to be a major fire at a warehouse for fireworks near the port in Beirut, the state-run NNA reported. The governor of Beirut port told Sky News that a team of firefighters at the scene had “disappeared” after the explosion.

The explosion comes shortly before a trial over the killing of ex-PM Rafik Hariri in 2005. A UN tribunal is due to issue its verdict in the trial of four suspects in the murder by car bomb of Hariri on Friday.