On the afternoon of 4 August 2020, two explosions occurred at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The second explosion was extremely powerful, and has caused at least 220 deaths, 7,000 injuries, US$10–15 billion in property damage, and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless. The event was linked to about 2,750 tonnes (3,030 short tons; 2,710 long tons) of ammonium nitrate – equivalent to around 1.2 kilotons of TNT (5.0 TJ) – which was confiscated by the Lebanese government from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus and then stored in the port without proper safety measures for six years.
The explosion was detected by the United States Geological Survey as a seismic event of magnitude 3.3; was felt in Turkey, Syria, Israel, and parts of Europe; and was heard in Cyprus more than 250 km (160 mi) away. It is considered to be one of the most powerful non-nuclear explosions in history.
The Lebanese government declared a two-week state of emergency in response to the disaster. In its aftermath, protests erupted across Lebanon against the Lebanese government for their failure to prevent the explosions, joining a larger series of protests that have been taking place in the country since 2019. On 10 August 2020, the Lebanese cabinet resigned, followed shortly by Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab due to mounting political pressure that was exacerbated by the event.