Explosion in Beirut
Initial reports on social media showed a major explosion at the Port of Beirut. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. Journalists reported that a good number of houses were damaged in the blast, causing extensive injuries to bystanders. Red Cross sources said that there were hundreds of casualties. Authorities have not yet officially confirmed any casualties. The explosion also shattered glass across the city.
Unconfirmed reports on social media say that there was a second explosion in the port area, nearer to downtown Beirut. Prolonged disruptions to operations in the port and surrounding areas are expected. Localised transportation disruptions are also anticipated.
General Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim said: 'It appears that there is a warehouse containing material that was confiscated years ago, and it appears that it was highly explosive material.' Pointing to what appears to be fireworks shooting out of the smoke, experts said a combination of fireworks and highly flammable fertiliser could have sparked such an explosion.
RPS Partnership advises caution if travelling through Beirut and until further information is known, it is highly recommended to travel home or to your hotel and stay there.
Explosion in Beirut today, extent of the damage