- At least 73 people were killed in a massive explosion that shook the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday evening, the national broadcaster said citing the health minister.
- The blast appears to have been centered on the city’s port area.
- A CNN producer witnessed “chaotic scene” in Beirut emergency room following the explosion.
- Lebanon state-run NNA news reported that a major fire broke out near Beirut port and firefighting teams rushed to the scene and worked to put out the fire.
Data on Lebanon Explosion
Data collected by the United States Geological Survey shows that the massive explosion in Beirut was so powerful, it created seismic waves equivalent of a magnitude 3.3 earthquake.
However, the magnitude 3.3 equivalent isn’t, “directly comparable to an earthquake of similar size.”
That’s because surface type blasts, like the Beirut explosion, don’t produce as large a magnitude as an earthquake of similar energy would according to Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center. Blakeman said most of the energy goes into the air and buildings.
“Not enough of the energy is transmitted into the rocks in the ground,” he said.
Meaning, if the explosion had occurred below the surface of the earth, the magnitude would have registered even higher.