Data collected by the United States Geological Survey shows that the massive explosion in Beirut was so powerful, it created seismic waves equivalent of a magnitude 3.3 earthquake.
However, the magnitude 3.3 equivalent isn't, "directly comparable to an earthquake of similar size."
That's because surface type blasts, like the Beirut explosion, don't produce as large a magnitude as an earthquake of similar energy would according to Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center. Blakeman said most of the energy goes into the air and buildings.
"Not enough of the energy is transmitted into the rocks in the ground," he said.
Meaning, if the explosion had occurred below the surface of the earth, the magnitude would have registered even higher.