the fire these times

42. It Sounded Like The World Itself Was Breaking Open

I spoke with Lebanese writer and translator Lina Mounzer about witnessing and experiencing the Beirut explosion on August 4th, 2020. So far there are 157 deaths, 5,000 injuries, US$10–15 billion in property damage and an estimated 300,000 people left homeless.

The blast was linked to about 2,750 tonnes (3,030 short tons) of ammonium nitrate – equivalent to around 1,155 tonnes of TNT (4,830 gigajoules) – that had been confiscated by the government from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus and stored in the port without proper safety measures for six years.

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