A massive explosion triggered by another in the port area of Lebanon’s capital city Beirut left hundreds injured on Tuesday. Search and rescue operations are underway alongside efforts to douse the fire.
Amassive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday, leaving hundreds injured. Visuals of the blasts are being circulated widely on social media platforms as emergency responders in Lebanon rush to attend to the injured and affected.
According to news agency AFP, two explosions were reported from the port area of Beirut city. The Associated Press, on the other hand, says the impact of the first explosion at a unit triggered a second explosion in a nearby building.
Beirut port after explosion.
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) August 4, 2020
The explosions brought down structures and shattered glass windows across a wide radius, hinting at their sheer intensity.
While some reports suggest that the explosions may have been caused due to “old explosive material”, others suggest that the site of the explosion was the area where fireworks were stored. A definitive cause is yet to be ascertained.
Authorities in Beirut are saying casualties are in the hundreds….wounded in thousands…it is a national catastrophe says Governor of Beirut. Business associates in Beirut are looking for loved ones through the city. It’s total chaos. Prayers for everyone. pic.twitter.com/LEXbPt95CB
— Fakhr-e-Alam (@falamb3) August 4, 2020
August 5 will be declared a day of national mourning, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab told media outlets after stepping out of an urgent meet of the nation’s defence council.
Meanwhile, operations are underway in full swing to douse the fire and rescue those trapped underneath the rubble of affected structures. With the novel coronavirus pandemic already taking a toll on Lebanon’s healthcare system, the availability of beds for those injured is emerging as a cause for concern.
— Dominik Tarczyński MEP (@D_Tarczynski) August 4, 2020
Videos of the explosion and its aftermath show battered cars in the middle of streets already covered with ash, glass and building material. Locals can be seen running towards the nearest hospitals as emergency responders race against time to rescue as many people as possible before it is too late.
Early reports put a preliminary death toll at 10, however, the same is yet to be confirmed by Lebanese authorities.
Stunning video shows explosions just minutes ago at Beirut port pic.twitter.com/ZjltF0VcTr
— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) August 4, 2020
Indian envoy in Lebanon, Suhel Ajaz Khan told India Today that all Indian Embassy staffers are fine. “We are in touch with the Indian community. Lots of damage to buildings in Central Beirut. Mostly glasses have been shattered and windows were broken,” Ajaz added.