(Eagle News) — These are just some of the scenes as provided by photos from Agence France Presse that showed the two enormous explosions which rocked Beirut’s port on Tuesday that killed at least 100 people and wounded thousands more.
The explosions that shook distant buildings, with an enomous orange fireball seen in the sky, had “tornado-like shockwaves” that shattered windows kilometers away.
Agence France Presse described the bloodied and dazed people wounded by the blasts that left officials and people in shock.
There were around 4,000 injured by the blasts. Corpses were on the ground, ambulances were lifting the dead, according to AFP.
It was “a disaster in every sense of the word”, said its health minister.
Witnesses described it as like an “atomic bomb” and the tremor produced was like an earthquake.
The explosions — which were heard in Nicosia, 240 kilometres (150 miles) away in Cyprus — were logged by seismologists, registering as the equivalent of a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.
Here are some photos of the devastating scenes:
AFP reported that the cause of the explosions was not immediately known but a top official, General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, said confiscated explosive materials had been stored at the city’s port.
“It appears that there is a warehouse containing material that was confiscated years ago, and it appears that it was highly explosive material,” he said.
Later, officials said the blast appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse. It was felt as far away as Cyprus, some 150 miles (240 kilometres) to the northwest.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun called for “urgent” defence council talks, while Prime Minister Hasan Diab declared Wednesday a day of mourning.
“What happened today will not pass without accountability,” said Diab. “Those responsible for this catastrophe will pay the price.”