A helicopter puts out a fire at the scene of the explosion at the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. AFP
LEBANON, 5th August 2020 – Earlier today, the world was shocked with an explosion from a warehouse in Beirut’s port, mainly due to “confiscated high explosive material”, as mentioned by Lebanese officials. At least 78 were dead and 4,000 were injured in the aftermath of the explosion, which occurred on Tuesday evening in Beirut, as stated by Lebanon’s Health Minister, Hamad Hasan. The surrounding warehouse and building within explosion radius were highly damaged, mainly inside Beirut’s port. 
An estimated 2,750 tons of the explosive ammonium nitrate had been stored at a warehouse in Beirut for six years, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab said.
What is ammonium nitrate?
“Ammonium nitrate has a number of different uses, but the two most common are as an agricultural fertiliser and as an explosive.
It is highly explosive when it comes into contact with fire – and when it explodes, ammonium nitrate can release toxic gases including nitrogen oxides and ammonia gas.
Because it’s so flammable there are strict rules on how to store ammonium nitrate safely – but among the requirements are that the storage site needs to be thoroughly fire-proofed, and there can’t be any drains, pipes or other channels in which ammonium nitrate could build up, creating an additional explosion hazard.” – BBC 
Near civilians experienced a blast of shockwave, broken glasses and windows, car damages, flying unidentified materials towards them, within seconds after the time of explosion. “The apartment shook horizontally, and all of a sudden it felt like an explosion and the windows and doors burst open. The glass just broke. So many homes were damaged or destroyed,” as mentioned by one Beirut resident. “What I felt was that it was an earthquake,” Rania Masri told CNN, who lives several kilometres away from the incident area.
Economic and Health consequences
As the world was hit by Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year, Lebanon also one of the country which was affected in economy and health. As for today, Covid-19 have already affected more than 5,000 people, with 62 death tolls, despite 5-days lockdown which started last Thursday. One doctor has warned that the health system will eventually can no longer cope with the increase in numbers of Covid-19 patients. To add more into the situations, after the mass explosion today in Beirut Port, hospitals must be ready to receive wounded civilians, as ordered by the Health Minister.
Economically, as business shut down during the pandemic, with an increase in unemployment, this explosion disaster will affect import and export industries in Lebanon. This does not include the economic emergency which was declared last year in September by Lebanon’s leader. 
“Lebanon has one of the world’s highest public debts in the world, standing at 150% of gross domestic product. Growth has plummeted and budget deficit reached 11% of GDP as economic activities slowed and remittances from Lebanese living abroad shrank. The government hopes to bring down the budget deficit to 7.6% of the GDP this year and to 6.5% in 2020.” – AP News. 
President declare state of Emergency
“Lebanese President Michel Aoun called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared following a massive explosion in Beirut that killed at least 78 people and injured 4,000 others.” – AlJazeera 
Beirut was also announced as a “disaster city”. Death tolls are expected to arise as search and rescue operations are being carried out to search for the victims under rubbles and surrounding locations.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has expressed on Wednesday his country’s grief following the deadly explosion in Lebanon.
“We stand ready to support any way we can,” he wrote on social media, adding that Malaysian nationals in Lebanon are safe.
“Our thoughts and prayers accompany the strong people of Lebanon.”
The world leaders also reacted on this disaster, and promised to send aid and assist Lebanon to protect civilians and rescue victims. 
Numerous civilian’s footage can be seen in social media, including Facebook and Twitter. A trending on Twitter, #PrayForLEBANON has reached over nearly 350,000 responses and increasing. Miraculous supports on Lebanon have been showed by leaders and worldwide citizens. Let us pray for the safety of our brothers and sisters, in handling this situations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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