BEIRUT, LEBANON: Satellite Images Show Explosion Damage

At least 100 people have died and 4,000 people have been wounded in a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday 4th August 2020.

Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images captured only hours ago with WorldView-2 by European Space Imaging highlight the scope of the damage to the surrounding blast site. Almost 20 buildings have been completely destroyed, whilst hundreds of other surrounding buildings have been significantly damaged. A cruise ship has been overturned and four tankers have been damaged. According to AIS data, this cruise ship is the “Orient Queen” sailing under the flag of Bahamas, and originating from port King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia.

It has been reported in the media that the explosion at Beirut’s port resulted in the damage of 90% of the hotels in the Lebanese capital and that the blasts could be felt up to 200 km away in Cyprus.

“When disaster strikes, VHR satellite imagery can provide critical information for emergency relief operations to evaluate the extent of damage and get an entire overview of the scene,” said Adrian Zevenbergen, Managing Director, European Space Imaging. “It supplies crisis management teams with logistical insights for planning and helps to monitor and detect any changes that may be critical to minimising or even eliminating further catastrophe.”

The cause of the explosion is still unknown, however it has been reported that the blasts occurred in a section of the port that stores previously confiscated highly explosive substances. With the country already suffering a crippling economic crisis as a result of battling COVID-19, this explosion plummets the city into further catastrophe with the country’s leader, Hassan Diab, appealing for international assistance.

European Space Imaging will continue to monitor this situation and make images available as soon as possible.


Before and After of the damaged area. Captured by WorldView-2 © European Space imaging


Before and After of the damaged area. Captured by WorldView-2 © European Space imaging


Before and After of the damaged area. Captured by WorldView-2 © European Space imaging

The “Orient Queen” cruise ship seen overturned after the explosion. Captured by WorldView-2 © European Space imaging

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Stories

Satellite Imagery as a Valuable Tool for the New Common Agricultural Policy 2023–2027 

On 1 January 2023, the new Common Agricultural Policy for years 2023–2027 entered into force. Hand in hand with the provided subsidies goes the necessity for monitoring and controls, which falls to the individual Member States. Therefore, an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective source of data is needed. Such source is Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery. It allows you to conduct in-depth analysis of plant and soil conditions, map land use at wide scales with incredible detail and accuracy, and ensure that agricultural goals are being met.

Read More »
SAR image of the Octagon

What is SAR Imagery? Introduction to Synthetic Aperture Radar

SAR imagery enables all-weather monitoring, penetrates dry soil, and offers resolution as high as 25 cm. Thanks to that, it’s invaluable for applications like emergency response, defence and intelligence, or agriculture. How does SAR work? What are its advantages and limitations? And what other data sources can you integrate it with? Read the article to learn more.

Read More »