A massive explosion took place yesterday (4 August) in Beirut, capital of Lebanon where at least 78 people were killed and 4,000 others were injured.

Videos of the incident show thick clouds of smoke rising from a building before it exploded, sending an enormous blast wave across the city

According to BBC, officials say highly explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years could be the cause of the explosion. President Michel Aoun said in a Tweet that it was “unacceptable” that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored unsafely.

Meanwhile, investigations are underway to determine what triggered the explosion. Those found responsible would face the maximum punishment possible, said Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council.

Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed and many buildings have been destroyed.

President Aoun has since declared a three-day mourning period, and said the government would release 100 billion Lebanese pounds (RM279,462,860) of emergency funds.

In an update by The Guardian, residents are concerned if the air had become dangerous to breathe

US Embassy in Beirut released a statement saying that there have been reports of toxic gases released in the explosion and advises all in the area to “stay indoors and wear masks if available”.

However, many people’s windows where shattered by the blast, making it difficult to avoid breathing the air outside.

The American University of Aerosol Research Lab’s indicators showed that air quality levels had returned to “Good” by 7pm, however, after showing “Moderate” levels of particulate matter an hour earlier.


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