Abyssal. The huge explosion in the port of Beirut created a crater 43 meters deep, a Lebanese security source said on Sunday, citing assessments made by French pyrotechnics experts dispatched to the field.
By comparison, the 1962 explosion of a 104 kiloton atomic bomb at a nuclear test site in Nevada, in the western United States, left a crater nearly 100 meters deep.
In the context of the explosions in Lebanon, the term “zero point” is used. It describes the precise location where a detonation occurred, and was first used in the atomic bombs of 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This epicenter is still teeming with rescue teams desperately trying to find survivors, while dozens of people are still missing.
The explosion on Tuesday left more than 150 dead and 6,000 injured. According to the Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, it was caused by the explosion of a warehouse where 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years, "without precautionary measures".
France is providing logistical support to Lebanon with investigative resources and has dispatched police and search teams. Paris has sent medical aid to help the Lebanese in a city where entire neighborhoods have been devastated.
On Saturday, thousands of protesters angry at the ruling class accused of corruption, incompetence and neglect after the explosion, briefly stormed ministries and marched through downtown Beirut to cry for revenge. They brandished makeshift gallows symbolizing rage against the leaders.
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This Sunday, an online donors' conference, organized at the initiative of France and the UN, begins at 2 p.m. It should mark the beginning of an "emergency and hope for the future" of the country, said the French presidency.