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Damage from Beirut explosion may amount to $15bln

Half of Beirut is either partially or completely destroyed, the governor said

MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. The massive explosion in Beirut might cost up to $15 billion worth in damage, Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud said in a televised interview with Al-Hadath channel on Wednesday.

"The damage caused by the blast could be higher than it was announced. It could reach up to $15 billion," Abboud said adding that "half of Beirut is either partially or completely destroyed."

He pointed out that the capital "has some grain stocks, so the authorities are planning to cope with the food crisis without external interference."

On Tuesday, a powerful blast ripped through Beirut’s port located near the Lebanese naval base and generated a shockwave that either destroyed or damaged dozens of houses and cars and shattered glass throughout the city. According to local authorities, the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which was seized by the customs service back in 2014, caused the explosion. The country is in mourning on Wednesday. A two-week state of emergency is in place in Lebanon’s capital, which was declared a disaster-stricken city.