Technical Report: Beirut Explosion

Hassel, Jonathan, Hagenlocher, Michael and O'Connor, Jack (2021). Technical Report: Beirut Explosion. Interconnected Disaster Risks 2020/2021. United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

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    Author Hassel, Jonathan
    Hagenlocher, Michael
    O'Connor, Jack
    Title Technical Report: Beirut Explosion
    Series Title Interconnected Disaster Risks 2020/2021
    Publication Date 2021-09-08
    Place of Publication Bonn
    Publisher United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
    Pages 25
    Language eng
    Abstract On 4 August 2020, more than 200 people lost their lives and more than 6,000 were injured when a massive explosion of ammonium nitrate destroyed much of the port area of Beirut. However, the questions of how the ammonium nitrate ended up in the port of Beirut in the first place and why such hazardous material was stored inappropriately explains why Beirut is about more than one human tragedy: it is about lack of accountability in a global value chain, which − in the case of sea transport − leads to a poorly regulated shipping industry. All around the world, ships are abandoned once they become unprofitable, for example because they break down or are held by port authorities following safety inspections. The lack of binding international law enables ship operators to register their holdings in countries with ‘open registries’, which allows ships to fly a flag without having a connection to the chosen nationality. As a result, a majority of all vessels worldwide are registered in countries with the lowest fees and security standards, and fly so-called ‘flags of convenience’, allowing them to circumvent regulations and responsibility. This technical background report for the 2020/2021 edition of the Interconnected Disaster Risks report analyses the root causes, drivers, impacts and potential solutions for the Beirut explosion through a forensic analysis of academic literature, media articles and expert interviews.
    Copyright Holder United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
    Copyright Year 2021
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.53324/OBLM3792
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    Created: Fri, 28 Jul 2023, 23:08:54 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS