LONDON: High-resolution satellite images have revealed the scale of the destruction wrought upon Lebanon’s main port after twin explosions killed more than 100 people.
The images were taken from satellites belonging to US-based imaging company Maxar.
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The after image shows a huge crater now filled with sea water next to a grain silo building which somehow wasn’t completely flattened.
Every other warehouse in the image has been flattened, with just the steel skeletons remaining. Across the other side of the dock, a passenger ship, the Orient Queen, has been blown on to its side by the blast, while other vessels appear destroyed.
Lebanese officials say 2,750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures. Reuters reported that a fire started at one warehouse before it spread to another storing the chemical, which is used in fertilizer and bombs.
Videos showed a fire and an initial explosion before the massive second explosion sent a shockwave across the city, killing scores, wounding thousands and destroying and damaging buildings.
The blast was felt in Cyprus almost 200 kilometers away. Sim Tack, an analyst and weapons expert at the Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor, said based on the crater and glass windows being blown out a distance away, the warehouse exploded with the force equivalent to detonating at least 2.2 kilotons of TNT.
* With Agencies