The giant explosion at a warehouse in the port sent a shock wave through downtown Beirut at about 6 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
The force of the blast did tremendous damage to the surrounding neighborhoods and nearby buildings, tearing off balconies and shattering windows. It blanketed the city in debris and ash for miles around.
What caused the explosion in Beirut?
Authorities say the blast occurred when a fire at a warehouse—Hangar 12—on the city’s waterfront ignited a cache of ammonium nitrate, an explosive material that had been stored at the site for more than six years.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound most commonly used in fertilizers. It is also used to make explosives.
Meanwhile, as everyone is pitching in to support communities devastated by the explosions, even before the impact of Covid-19, families were struggling in the face of economic collapse, daily power cuts, a lack of safe drinking water and limited public healthcare.
UNICEF is on the ground working to reach over 100,000 children affected with health care, water and pyschosocial support.