A Sudden explosion hit Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the city’s port, damaging buildings across the capital, and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. More than 100 people were killed and 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble. Yet there are hundreds are gone missing.
The blast struck with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, according to Germany’s geosciences center GFZ, and it was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus more than 200 kilometers (180 miles) across the Mediterranean.
The sudden devastation overwhelmed a country already struggling with both the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis. For hours afterward, ambulances rushing in from around Lebanon carried the wounded.
For blocks around the port, where the explosion took place, bloodied residents staggered through streets lined with overturned cars and littered with rubble from shattered buildings. Windows and doors were blown out kilometers (miles) away. Army helicopters helped battle fires raging at Beirut’s port.