Jordan Journal of Civil Engineering

Monitoring the Beirut Port Silos’ Structural Health Response a Few Months after Blast Loading Using 3D Laser Scan


Sahar Ismail; Wassim Raphael; Emmanuel Durand;


On August 4, 2020, an explosion at the port of Beirut, later considered one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history, struck the city of Beirut and was heard several kilometres away, as far away as Cyprus. It destructed thousands of structures and left more than 200 people killed and 7500 injured. Following this explosion, “the school of engineering ESIB” at Saint Joseph University of Beirut in collaboration with the swiss silos’ company “Amann” Engineering conducted 3D laser scan measurements to study and monitor the Beirut port silos’ structural health response using two equipment: the LEICA BLK360 and the Z+F Imager. Thus, the objective of the work presented in this paper is to evaluate the stability of the remaining standing silos. If the decision is to demolish them, this study assesses the reuse of the pile foundation for constructing new silos at the same place. The 3D scans, performed in three phases: September 2020, November 2020 and late March and mid-April 2021, show that the remaining standing port silos (third row) are not stable. The displacement of the south block third row of silos is not significant since September 2020, while the north block third row of silos is tilting away from the direction of the explosion crater and its movement and inclination got significantly increased since November 2020, noting that the first and second rows of silos were destroyed by the blast, while the third row of silos tilted towards the explosion crater (to the west) at the day of the blast. The obtained results propose not to reuse the pile foundation due to the significant damage that the structure and the foundation experienced by the blast. Consequently, further monitoring of the silos is recommended to assess the movement and inclination of the remaining standing silos that are affected by the interaction between the structure, foundation and soil medium.


3D laser scanner, Beirut explosion, Blast loading, Surface explosion, Reinforced concrete silos