A huge fire broke out in Beirut port, Lebanon on Thursday (10th of September), just weeks after the massive blast at the same place to the capital city, killing nearly 200 people and nearly 6500 people injured.
The Lebanese army said on Thursday the latest fire erupted at a Beirut Port warehouse storing oils and tires in the port’s Duty-Free area. According to the records no injuries reported from the second blaze.
At the scene, people fleeing from the direction of the fire and sent plumes of black smoke rising into the sky. Lebanese civil defense firefighters said the fire had been brought under control but is not extinguished yet.
Bassem Kaissi, who was appointed as the new director of Beirut port said BCC, the owners of the building had built the facility to meet health and safety requirements, including being equipped with fire extinguishers and fire alarms – but all kinds of stuff had been destroyed in the August 4 blast. Kaissi rejected to comment on what may have caused the fire, saying he would wait for investigations.
Explosion of the Beirut Port
On the 4th of August 2020, the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon has exploded. Because of the explosion at least 190 deaths, 6,500 injuries, US$10–15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
A large amount of ammonium nitrate had been stored in a warehouse near the Beirut Port without proper safety measures for the previous six years cause the explosion. The explosion was felt in Turkey, Syria, Israel, Palestine, and some parts of Europe, and was heard in Cyprus, more than 250 km (160 mi) away. It is considered one of the most powerful non-nuclear explosions in history.
The Lebanese government announced a two-week state of emergency in response to the explosion. After that, Lebanon people against the government for their failure to prevented the disaster, joining a larger series of protests which have been taking place in the country since last 2019. On the 10th August 2020, Prime Minister Hassan Diab and the Lebanese cabinet resigned due to these reasons.
The economy of Lebanon was in a state of crisis before the explosions, reasons with the government having defaulted on debt, the pound plunging, and a poverty rate that had risen past 50%.In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic had expanded many of the country’s hospitals, several of which already were short of medical supplies and unable to pay staff due to a financial crisis.
The government-owned Beirut Port serves as the main maritime entry point into Lebanon and infrastructure for the importation of scarce goods. The Beirut Naval Base is a part of the port. The port owned four basins, sixteen quays, twelve warehouses, a large container terminal, and grain silos with a total capacity of 120,000 tonnes that served as a strategic reserve of cereals for the country.