Inside Story

How will Lebanon deal with the devastating Beirut explosion?

The country is reeling from an unprecedented explosion at the port of its capital.

An enormous explosion in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has left it in a state of chaos and ruin.

Dozens of people have been killed and thousands wounded, while many are missing.

Hospitals are overwhelmed and homes and businesses are wrecked.

The explosion struck Beirut with the force of an earthquake and left Lebanon in shock.

Initial reports suggest explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years in Beirut’s port detonated.

About 2,700 tonnes of confiscated ammonium nitrate – a fertiliser that can be used in bomb making – are thought to be involved. 

Health officials warned of a toxic cloud and urged people to wear masks and stay indoors.

Beirut’s governor estimates about 300,000 people have been displaced and the economic effects are also expected to be devastating.

What will be the fallout from all this?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Edmond Abboud – Adviser to the Lebanese health minister

Carmen Geha – Associate professor of public administration at the American University of Beirut

Heiko Wimmen – Director of the Lebanon Project at the International Crisis Group

Habib Battah – journalist