Lebanon: Beirut Port Explosions Situation Report No. 1 (As of 5 August 2020) [EN/AR]

Situation Report
Originally published


This report is produced by OCHA Lebanon in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 4 to 5 August 2020. The next report will be issued on or around 6 August.


• On 4 August, a warehouse at the Beirut Port exploded, causing widespread casualties and material damage.

• National and international search and rescue teams and disaster management experts have been dispatched to support ongoing emergency efforts.

• Initial reports indicate more than 135 people were killed and an additional 5,000 people were injured. Scores more remain missing.

• Widespread structural damage was reported at the port and surrounding commercial and residential neighborhoods.

• Multiple health facilities sustained damages. Hospitals have been overwhelmed with casualties, with many intensive care units (ICUs) already near capacity due to COVID-19.

• The Government of Lebanon estimates that the explosions have left more than 300,000 people homeless in the Greater Beirut area.

• The United Nations is mobilizing assistance to support the ongoing government-led emergency response

135+ reported deaths

5,000+ people reported injured

100+ people reported missing

300K Estimated people homeless


On 4 August, at approximately 18h00 (local time), a warehouse at the Beirut Port containing large quantities of ammonium nitrate exploded. After an initial explosion, a subsequent blast caused widespread damage, with reports of damage more than 20 kilometers from the port area. The explosions and ensuing fires reportedly released toxic materials in the environment.

First responders searched through the night to reach survivors. Debris from the explosions obstructed efforts to assist victims. More than 135 deaths have been reported, with an additional 5,000 people injured. More than 100 people are missing.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed with casualties. Reports indicate that many patients have been treated in makeshift conditions, including on sidewalks and in parking lots. Some facilities have reportedly had to turn away patients. The explosions come as many ICUs are already reaching capacity with COVID-19 patients.

The blasts have also damaged numerous buildings in the Greater Beirut area. Multiple medical facilities, including several major hospitals, sustained structural damage. Numerous residences have also been damaged or destroyed. The Government of Lebanon estimates that the explosions have left more than 300,000 people homeless.

On 5 August, the Government of Lebanon declared a two-week state of emergency in Beirut. All imports and exports have been redirected to the Tripoli Port, which is about 85 kilometers north of Beirut.

The explosions come as Lebanon faces a multi-faceted crisis. In recent months, economic contraction, increasing poverty and rising prices have compounded needs among Lebanese and non-Lebanese communities, including the large refugee population in Lebanon. Increasing COVID-19 transmission is straining the country’s health systems. Social tensions continue to grow in many parts of the country

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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