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In photos: Beirut explosion destroys homes, devastates Lebanese capital

WATCH: Beirut explosion: a deep dive behind the chemical compound behind the blasts

The gigantic explosion in Beirut on Tuesday tore through homes, blowing off doors and windows, toppling cupboards, and sent flying books, shelves, lamps and everything else.

Dozens were trapped under the wreckage and those who survived still cannot believe that they did.

Said Al Assaad, 24, poses for a photograph inside his grandfather’s destroyed villa after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020.
Said Al Assaad, 24, poses for a photograph inside his grandfather’s destroyed villa after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020. Hassan Ammar / The Associated Press
George Abdo, 58, poses for a photograph inside his destroyed apartment after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020.
George Abdo, 58, poses for a photograph inside his destroyed apartment after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020. Hassan Ammar / The Associated Press

Within a few tragic seconds, more than a quarter of a million people of the Lebanese capital’s residents were left with homes unfit to live in. Around 6,200 buildings are estimated to be damaged.

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Beirut explosion: Views from port show devastation as workers continue clearing debris
Beirut explosion: Views from port show devastation as workers continue clearing debris

When the first blast hit, Mona al-Shami and her sister hid under a table in their apartment in Qarantina, near the center of the explosions at Beirut port. Then came the second massive explosion. “Everything flew, everything exploded,” al-Shami said. The sisters were both knocked unconscious for a few moments, before they woke up again to an apocalyptic scene.

Read more: Lebanon officials long warned of Beirut port’s chemical explosives: documents

“Thank God we are alive, but everything’s gone, our home, car, everything,” she says, breaking into tears as she stood in the middle of a bedroom littered with debris.

Said al-Assaad, 24, stands amid the destruction in his family home — a beautiful ground-floor traditional house in the historic district of Mar Mikhail facing the port.

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Hasan Al Armali, holds a wall clock that was stoped working at the time of the Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, poses for a photograph at his bedroom inside his destroyed apartment, in Beirut , Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020.
Hasan Al Armali, holds a wall clock that was stoped working at the time of the Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, poses for a photograph at his bedroom inside his destroyed apartment, in Beirut , Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020. Hassan Ammar / The Associated Press
Mona Al Chami, poses for a photograph inside her destroyed apartment after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020.
Mona Al Chami, poses for a photograph inside her destroyed apartment after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020. Hassan Ammar / The Associated Press

He was in the mountains when the explosion happened. His family survived. But the neighbourhood, buildings, shops, restaurants and balconies are all destroyed.

Farah Mahmoud, wrapped in Lebanese national flag, checks her parents destroyed apartment after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020.
Farah Mahmoud, wrapped in Lebanese national flag, checks her parents destroyed apartment after Tuesday’s explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 6, 2020. Hassan Ammar / The Associated Press

“Destruction like you never saw and will never see in your life. I never expected to see something like this, not even in a video game,” he said.

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“It is beyond words, something that cannot be described.”