A team from the University of Sheffield has calculated the strength of the blast based on the videos and photographs which have emerged since the disaster.
They believe the explosion was the equivalent of 1,000 to 1,500 tonnes of TNT – a blast intensity which would support the belief that it was caused by the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser.
This is about a tenth of the intensity of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb but far bigger than any blast from a conventional weapon.
— Abir Ghattas (@AbirGhattas) August 5, 2020
Professor Andy Tyas, an expert on blast protection engineering at the university, said: “There are simple rules of thumb relating the maximum expansion of the fireball to the size of the original explosive charge, and from some very approximate measurements from online video footage, we think the explosion is equivalent to something of the order of 1,000 to 1,500 tonnes of TNT.
“We have also analysed video footage of the time delay between the detonation and the arrival of the shock wave at points several hundred metres from the explosion and these broadly agree with this size of charge.
“If correct, that would mean this explosion had perhaps 10 per cent of the intensity of the Hiroshima bomb.
“Whatever the precise charge size, this is unquestionably one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history – far bigger than any conventional weapon.”
The blast appeared to have been triggered by a fire that touched off a giant quantity of ammonium nitrate fertiliser stored for years in the port, exploding with the force of a moderately strong earthquake.
I’ve been following this explosion, and I don’t know any more than anyone else, but I’m ready to make conclusions.
tw // expl0sion
a thread of ways to help Lebanon, PLEASE SPREAD THIS pic.twitter.com/5nfIvDmL3v
— ًjan (@chanjaeoI) August 5, 2020
I think there was a cache of ammonium nitrate in the port. Maybe it belonged to the Russians.
As Lebanon’s investigation into the devastating blast in Beirut continues, officials have pointed to a possible cause: A massive shipment of agricultural fertilizer that authorities say was stored in the port of Beirut without safety precautions for years — despite warnings by local officials.
Documents newly reviewed by CNN reveal that a shipment of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut on a Russian-owned vessel in 2013. The ship, named the MV Rhosus, was destined for Mozambique — but stopped in Beirut due to financial difficulties that also created unrest with the ship’s Russian and Ukrainian crew.
Once it arrived, the ship never left Beirut’s port, according Lebanon’s Director of Customs, Badri Daher, despite repeated warnings by him and others that the cargo was the equivalent of “a floating bomb.”
But I think it was the Jews that lit it up.
The Jews have been sabotaging the heck out of Iran, and Lebanon is obviously an ally of Iran, so the idea that this is a coincidence is just too much for me to believe.
Israel said at the United Nations security meeting that Lebanon was producing missiles and would not allow it. Yesterday there was an explosion, if someone thinks it's an accident, it's stupid pic.twitter.com/OMwkkNfy4j
— Ali Keskin (@alikeskin_tr) August 5, 2020
If the Jews can set off a massive explosion in Lebanon and make it look like it was the fault of some idiot mistake by Russians, that’s all the better for them.
Of course, I don’t know, so I’m not saying I know, but this is my best guess at current time.
Some of these videos are friggin’ nutzo.
— CNW (@ConflictsW) August 5, 2020
"I felt I'm going to die"
Eyewitnesses describe how a powerful blast rocked Lebanon's capital Beirut
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 5, 2020
my heart is breaking for the innocent children that have endured so much trauma over the last day. if you can donate blood do it. if you can donate to the red cross do it. please help lebanon. please #PrayForLebanon pic.twitter.com/rKV20LngIK
— sleepynors 🌟🕊 (@ellanoraaaaa) August 5, 2020
WATCH: A bride is seen smiling for a wedding photoshoot in Beirut, Lebanon when the massive explosion occured in the city’s port on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/zC0kBRpfyF
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) August 5, 2020
I especially like the grandma continuing to rock on after the blasts.
A grandmother played "Auld Lang Syne" on a piano in her home surrounded by debris and devastation following the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 5, 2020
It’s meaningful to us.
Also, the Christian church being hit.
God protect Lebanon pic.twitter.com/1OZUnoLhI3
— Hend F Q (@LadyVelvet_HFQ) August 5, 2020
We should never forget that the Jews (probably) did this.