Two large explosions have devastated Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut. Footage taken in the immediate aftermath shows windows blown out, streets littered with debris and cars upturned by the strength of the blasts. The impact was reportedly felt 200km away in Cyprus:
Lebanon health ministry says that the explosions have left more than 50 dead and 2,750 wounded.
Interior minister says ammonium nitrate likely caused at least one explosion amid reports hospitals too damaged to treat patients
The US Embassy in Beirut has released a statement advising that people wear masks and stay indoors, following “reports of toxic gases released in the explosion”.:
Event: We are closely following reports of an explosion at or near the Port of Beirut on August 4.
We encourage citizens in the affected area(s) to monitor local news, follow the emergency instructions provided by local authorities, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at step.state.gov to receive important emergency information, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional updates. There are reports of toxic gases released in the explosion so all in the area should stay indoors and wear masks if available.
We urge U.S. citizens in the affected areas who are safe to contact their loved ones directly and/or update their status on social media. If you are in the affected area and need immediate emergency services, please contact local authorities; police can be contacted at 112, civil defence at 125, and the Lebanese Red Cross at 140. We urge U.S. citizens to avoid the affected areas/shelter in place and follow the directions of local authorities. The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State. We will continue to provide information to U.S. citizens in the area through Alerts, our Embassy website, and travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens with verifiable emergencies may contact BeirutACS@state.gov.