On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the Port of Beirut in the capital city of Lebanon exploded, causing at least 218 deaths, 7,000 injuries, as well as leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless and destroying the grain Silos that contain 85% of the country’s grain. The blast was so powerful that it physically shook the whole country of Lebanon. It was felt in neighboring countries such as Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. The Lebanese government declared a two-week state of emergency in response to the disaster. In its aftermath, protests erupted across Lebanon against the government for their failure to prevent the disaster, joining a larger series of protests that had been taking place across the country since 2019.
The long lasting corruption and omission of facts across governmental institutions resulted in the docking of ammonium nitrate (highly explosive material) in a civilian area without appropriate management or knowledge to the public. The long-term environmental and health effect remains unaccounted for with many particle matter and toxins emitted in the air