The devastating explosion that shook the Lebanese capital on August 4 was one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in history, an investigation by engineers at the University of Sheffield in the UK revealed.
The explosion in the port of Beirut, which caused 193 deaths and about 6,500 injured, had a power equivalent to between 500 and 1,100 tons of TNT, about one twentieth of that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, and In a matter of milliseconds, it released enough energy to power around 100 homes for a year.
“This is equivalent to the hourly energy generated by three million solar panels or 400 wind turbines,” explained the study authors.
The Impact and Explosion Engineering Research Group of The British university studied videos of the explosion posted on social media and estimated its power as the shock wave swept through the city.
According to Professor Sam Rigby, “the disaster that hit Beirut was devastating,” and he hopes that “none of that will happen again.”
“It was an unprecedented event because never before has such a large explosion been so well documented. After watching the events unfold, we wanted to use our expertise in blast engineering to help understand what had happened in Beirut and provide data that could be used to help prepare and save lives in such events should they happen again. ”, He explained.
Investigations into the disaster determined that the explosion was the result of an accidental detonation of nearly three kilotons of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored without proper safety measures in one of the port’s warehouses since 2014.
The blast also injured more than 6,500 people.