Network data from the NetBlocks internet observatory confirm that internet connectivity in Lebanon has significantly fallen following reports of an explosion on Tuesday 4 August 2020, with the outage ongoing as of 1:00 p.m. UTC Wednesday. The incident may impact communications with victims and eyewitnesses on location.
Update: The partial internet outage in #Lebanon is ongoing; a breakdown by geographic locations points to areas of high impact including parts of #Beirut, Mount Lebanon, North and South Governorates; percentages reflect most affected network 📉
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) August 4, 2020
The bulk of the outage’s impact is provisionally attributed to the impact of the blast on nearby infrastructure, with lesser secondary impacts attributed to subsequent power outages.
Update: Real-time network data show that internet provider #TerraNet, situated in proximity to yesterday's catastrophic blast in #Beirut #Lebanon, has made a remarkable recovery back up to 85% connectivity in just one day 📈👏
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) August 5, 2020
Damage to network equipment, fiber data lines and/or power cuts have known network impacts similar to those observed during the present incident.
Geolocated internet data from @netblocks overlaid with blast site coordinates show one of #Lebanon's network operators #TerraNet was headquartered in immediate vicinity of today's explosion, providing one explanation for the ongoing ~1/5th loss of national connectivity #Beirut pic.twitter.com/KbrLq053CO
— Isik Mater (@isik5) August 4, 2020
Affected networks have been previously stable and internet outage timings appear to correspond with estimated timings for the blast.
The Lebanese Red Cross reported it had dispatched more than 30 teams following the incident. News sources cite scores of casualties and describe significant damage to homes and businesses as rescue operations continue.
Geolocation of some of the videos circulating on social media from Beirut showing where within the port the blast appears to have come from. pic.twitter.com/3FrpOTcaaE
— Seana Davis (@Seana_Davis) August 4, 2020
- Hundreds injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut Port – Jerusalem Post
- Massive explosion rocks Lebanese capital Beirut, witness footage shows – Euronews
- Widespread damage after huge explosion in Beirut – BBC
NetBlocks diffscans, which map the IP address space of a country in real time, show internet connectivity levels and corresponding outages. Purposeful internet outages generally have a distinct network pattern used by NetBlocks to determine and attribute the root cause of an outage, a process known as attribution which follows detection and classification stages.
A summary of data visualizations used in this report:
- Network Connectivity (National): Internet providers and networks serving the affected region are visualized in a stacked time-series histogram to identify the start and end times of an internet outage event. Scales on the y-axis are adjusted to match localized maxima while minima indicate periods when networks became unreachable. The x-axis represents Universal Coordinated time (GMT+0).
- Standard: Connectivity levels on the y-axis correspond directly to the observed number of reachable connections, as with National Connectivity charts.
NetBlocks is a civil society group working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives for an open and inclusive digital future for all.