What was the ammunition that exploded in Cyprus, spreading death? The Greek Weapons Control Center has its own suspicions and estimates, which refer even to toxic or radioactive substances.
“Watching the devastation of the surrounding area one can realize that the power of the explosion was extreme.
We observe the typical well at metal constructions and even in cars that indicate that the blast was a force of at least some tones of nitroglycerine.”
Such effects are observed only in nuclear explosions and the case is one of the most incredible military accidents in history.
We have several suspicions about the materials that were inside the containers, said Director of the Center for Arms Control in the media and stressed that remains of the explosions should immediately be sampled because of suspicious of toxic or radioactive substances.
According to the calculations of Dr. Theodore Liolios an explosion of a one kiloton nuclear bomb (about a tenth of the Hiroshima bomb) creates a crater with a diameter of 60 meters and a depth of 15 meters.
If media reports are accurate a 50 meter diameter crater was created, so we can figure the force of the explosion. (Of course the calculations relate to the blast).
The explosive force (on land) at the Cyprus naval base, was one of the largest blasts recorded after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The blast wave of the explosion of 'gun powder' caused extensive damage but the trees in this picture are untouched! There is also a huge discrepancy about 'times' of the event. Apparently there was a fire at 4.00am or 4.15am but the explosion occurred at 5.45am, other news sources say a fire started at 3.45am (not the usual time for bush fires) and an explosion at 4.00am... Its been five days, and still no clear picture.
The Local Financial Express Newspaper reported the incident like this. I have made some emphasis and added corrections.
ZYGI, (Cyprus), July 11: A fire and explosion at a Cyprus naval base that damaged (destroyed) an adjacent power plant may have killed as many as fifteen people and knocked out 50 per cent (60-70%) of the island's electricity supply. The fire, which started in dry grass around 4 a.m. local time, spread to explosives stored at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Zygi on the southern coast and set off munitions (containers with unconfirmed/unchecked military weaponry) seized from a ship in 2009, CyBC said. (After demands made by the US Government)
Among those killed were four (5) soldiers, two sailors and five (6) firefighters. As many as 43 (67) people were injured and an unknown number are missing, CyBC reported. Many of those injured were driving past the plant and hit by flying metal, Health Minister Christos Patsalides said.
The force of the explosions blew out virtually every window in the nearby fishing village of Zygi, whose seafront restaurants are popular with the many tourists who frequent the resort island.
The island's largest power station at Vassiliko right next to the base was virtually levelled by the blast, causing widespread power cuts that are likely to last for months.
Three of its four main buildings were virtually levelled along the generator's two main fuel tanks, the correspondent said.
The main motorway connecting the capital Nicosia with the island's second-largest city Limassol runs less than a kilometre (half a mile) from the plant and motorists passing at the time of the blasts reported debris flying through the air.
State television broadcast images of damaged vehicles, twisted road signs and debris strewn across the central reservation.
Five hours after the blasts, an AFP correspondent saw four fires still raging at the plant.
Interior Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis told the state CNA news agency that the village of Mari just east of the base was devastated by the explosion with virtually every home damaged.
Police prevented journalists from approaching the village or the Evangelos Florakis naval base itself, named after a military commander who died in a helicopter crash exactly nine years to the day before the blasts.
But the speaker of parliament, Yiannakis Omirou, who is a former defence minister and visited the scene, said the explosion had been so massive that the entire arms cache had been destroyed without trace.
President Demetris Christofias also visited the stricken base ahead of an emergency cabinet meeting. (Then promptly went into hiding for four days before appearing on TV and NOT apologizing for the terrible events)
According to public radio, the fire brigade was called to a wildfire near the base at 4:24 am (0124 GMT) and that the explosions followed at 5:50 am (0250 GMT) as the fire raged out of control.
Five firefighters were among the 11 dead (12, and today 13), who also included four members of the Greek Cypriot National Guard and two sailors, CNA said. State television said at least 12 people were killed.
They continue not to report the disaster as a bombing, they are saying that the explosives got HOT and blew up by themselves. Can you believe it? The President won't resign and thousands of people are protesting every night outside the Presidential Palace... I witnessed two car crashes in front of my eyes already this week, due to there being no traffic lights!
Anyway, we have no power for rolling periods of two to three hours every day, water rationing will be starting soon. Who knows what will happen with petrol! There are MAJOR problems with the country's infrastructure and the future looks bleak in this era of financial crisis. The tourist industry is going to be wiped out!
Today the rumors include Politician's chatting about 'Depleted Uranium'.
I've just heard from a colleague that the country's other two very old power stations are having problems (he has a cousin who works for the electricity authority) and one of them shut down today for maintenance so half the country was out for four hours! The rumor is that we will be facing a full black-out in August as there just isn't enough energy to go around. The desalination plant located next to the power station that was destroyed cannot be restored either so August is going to be a nightmare in 49 degrees.
I woke up to air-raid sirens this morning. They mark the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. An invasion that took advantage of the fact that the country was in turmoil.
MARI, Cyprus, July 11 (Reuters) - Residents of a village in southern Cyprus thought it was an earthquake before an orange cloud emerged over the hill and clumps of metal started falling from the sky.
The explosion at a munitions dump in a nearby military base killed 12 people and knocked out the island's biggest power station. Authorities said Iranian munitions, confiscated by Cyprus from a ship sailing to Syria in 2009, caused the blast.
This is how it was reported, and then swiftly forgotten by the world’s media. But for Cyprus and its people, things are far from over. Tonight thousands of residents of the capital city Nicosia converged in the central Freedom Square for a march to the Presidential Palace. They are demanding action and heads to roll for what happened on 07 11 11.
The demonstration, like so many, deteriorated a few minutes ago, into a stone throwing, tear-gas frenzy between riot police and anarchists who attacked the Palace gates in front of the eyes of relatives of the dead and injured, and TV camera crews filming the unprecedented event live.
Twelve, possibly fourteen, people are dead. The main power station of Cyprus (which supplies 60-70% of the country’s electricity) has been destroyed. The electricity supply is being cut-off every two hours to save what can be saved, causing schools and businesses to shut-down, numerous car crashes and electrical fires and blow-outs.
The tourism industry, at the height of summer, has collapsed in ruin within twenty-four hours, threats to all public services, including availability of petrol for transportation and drinking water being rationed.
The Minister of Defence resigned immediately after the ‘explosion’ yesterday. An explosion of apparent ‘gun-powder’ stored in 42 degree heat only meters away from the power station inside Cyprus only naval base. A fire was reported at 4.14am, and the rumor mill was in full swing by 12.00pm…from a tanker explosion to bush fire getting out of hand, to bombs dropping on the naval base from an ‘unnamed super-power’.
Gun-powder that use to belong to Iran, heading for Syria and intercepted by the U.S. Navy and confiscated (stored) by Cyprus at their behest. It made news in 2009. But today we are told there are more containers. Not gun powder this time, but arms, and apparent army ‘clothing’, from Afghanistan, stored at the International Airport.
The tragedy of all of this is that it appears the government knew all about the danger before it happened and did nothing. The tragic and avoidable loss of young lives. The country is crippled, but the international media are not covering the destruction of Cyprus. I guess there is more serious trouble elsewhere?
I have written for the culture, entertainment, and travel sectors, both on-line and in the local press.
For over twenty years my day-job consisted of slugging away, making other people rich, in the world's most ruthless, yet strangely boring and inept corporate finance environments. That includes international banking, new-IT, and advertising.
As freelance writer, and critic, in my spare time, I help run a workshop for local writers. I am still writing the on-line movie review blog ‘Celluloid Seduction’, hanging around a lot of the entertainment sites in the process.
After the devastating and unsolved death of my younger brother on 09/09/1994, I now attempt to exorcise feelings of powerlessness, and loss, that plague my psyche, by creating modern literal performance poetry, using traditional rhythmic forms, following in the footsteps of my late grandfather, the Cypriot 'Red Village' poet 'Vasilis'.
I have many interests including the cinema, music, writing of all kinds, political and religious debate, new and weird science and the occult, plus a lot of other things that just don't fit in this box.
This blog is full of memories and opinion and observations. Feel free to quote me, but please respect me enough to credit 'Marie from Cyprus' on anything you repeat.
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The identities of persons involved have been intentionally kept, but in some paragraphs they are omitted for legal reasons. No offense. If you feel there is an inaccuracy, please contact me and we can discuss what it is that you believe is not true about these accounts. Don't try to sue me, I have no money or assets, the international corp. bankers I use to work for made sure of that!