Beirut massive explosion Impact felt 240 km away in Cyprus
The Tuesday blast that ripped through Lebanon’s capital Beirut was so powerful that citizens of the island of Cyprus, 240 kms away from the site of the explosion felt it.
Cyprus is just an island lying west of Lebanon, residents reported two large bangs in quick succession. Videos confirmed that the Beirut blast could be seen from the coast of Cyprus and was heard as far as inland capital Nicosia.
A Nicosia resident disclosed that his house was shaky, rattling shutters. While another Nicosia citizen said he thought something fell on the building where he works. Several other people said they heard it as far as the mountainous region of Troodos.
Some other people that felt the explosion from far spoke of their experience as highlighted below:
I heard this from Cyprus!
At first I thought it was thunder, later I assumed it must be the nearby Army base bombing range.
I’m on the south east coast, lots of people heard it here. I always forget how close Cyprus is to Lebanon etc across the water.
Emilia Papadopoulos, a BBC journalist said she felt the explosion in Limassol and thought it was an earthquake. “We felt two blasts in Limassol. Thought it was an earthquake but only our windows were shaking. Thoughts with everyone in Beirut,” she wrote on Twitter.
Tuesday is a day to remember for a long time in Lebanon as a massive blast rocked downtown Beirut, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital.
The blasts were heard as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres away
Georges Kettaneh of the Lebanese Red Cross said that there were dead and wounded, but did not have an exact figure, just saying there were hundreds of casualties.
It was stunning even for a city that has been shaken by civil war, suicide bombings and bombardment by Israel.
According to the Lebanon’s internal security chief Abbas Ibrahim, the massive blast in Beirut’s port area occurred in a section housing highly-explosive materials.
The blast was so powerful that many kilometer away from the port, balconies were knocked down, windows shattered, streets were covered with glass and bricks and lined with wrecked cars. Motorcyclists picked their way through traffic, carrying the injured.
Unfortunately for Lebanon the blast came at a time when its economy is facing collapse, hit both by a financial crisis and coronavirus restrictions. Many have lost jobs, while the worth of their savings has evaporated as the currency has plunged in value against the dollar. The result has thrown many into poverty.
Also It comes amid rising tensions between Israel and the militant Hezbollah group along Lebanon’s southern border.