Contributed from Victoria
The devastating explosion in Beirut was horrific. The death toll is approaching 150 and many are still unaccounted for. Thousands have been injured, some of them horribly. A significant part of the city has been flattened.
Few of the residents of Beirut will be unaffected in some way. Although others can’t imagine what these people there are going through, sympathy has poured in from around the world.
The story line is this is about a dangerous combination of ammonium nitrate and fireworks, which had been stored without adequate attention to safety. Ammonium nitrate is mostly used to manufacture fertiliser. It is also a key ingredient for explosives, because when it ignites, it releases a massive amount of energy.
Stunning video shows explosions just minutes ago at Beirut port
Video from Wybory Prezydenckie 2020
But it takes a lot to ignite. Only through enough energy being generated by another agent, will the Ammonium nitrate ignite. This is what happened. There was an explosion and fire. Then the much bigger explosion. It seems like an open and shut case.
This may or may not be the true explanation. A proper investigation was not been carried out yet. The priority for now is rescuing victims, and this is the way it should be. More facts will come out in due course.
Allegations that this was a premeditated bombing have surfaced. One set of allegations blames Israel for carrying out a military attack. Another blames Hezbollah. Both deny any responsibility. Nothing has emerged that would point the finger at either side.
Adding to the speculation is Donald Trump’s comment about the explosion being caused by a bomb.
Donald Trump claims Lebanon explosion ‘looks like a terrible attack
Video from Guardian News
The almost joyous response by some of Israels’ leaders helped to fuel suspicion. But this has not been representative of most Israeli’s.
Whatever the cause of the explosions turns out to be, the tragedy exposes the political divide in that part of the world.
Over the last couple of weeks Israel has intensified military activity along the border between the two nations, raising tensions. There has been some shooting. Last year, Israel launch an attack by drone on Beirut’s suburbs.
In addition to the threat of Israeli attack, Lebanon has been suffering a severe economic crisis, and has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. This blast has made the situation much worse. At least aid is coming in from many countries. This will help in the difficult times ahead.