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Wednesday 5 August 2020

Lebanese Military Declares Beirut Disaster-Stricken


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BEIRUT (TASS) — The Supreme Defense Council of Lebanon, which convened for an emergency meeting on Tuesday night, declared the country’s capital Beirut a disaster-stricken city following a powerful blast in the seaport.

“The defence council decided to declare Beirut a disaster-stricken region and declare the state of emergency for the period of August 4-18”, said the press service of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who chaired the meeting. The press service said in a statement: “The Defence Council resolved to set up a special commission to investigate the disaster, which is to prepare its report within the next five days.”

A powerful blast rocked the Beirut seaport district on Tuesday, sending a shockwave that ripped through residential areas of the Lebanese capital. According to latest reports, more than100 people were killed and some 4,000 injured in the disaster. An effort to search for victims and remove debris is now under way. The shockwave destroyed and damaged dozens of buildings and cars.

According to first reports, the tragedy was caused by the detonation of 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate during welding works. A TASS correspondent learned from sources in the Lebanese capital that the explosive cargo was stored in the port after being confiscated from a Moldovan vessel with Ukrainian crew in 2015.

Strong signals from the blast were detected by infrasound stations of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s International Monitoring System (CTBTO IMS) in Tunisia and Germany.

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