Two massive explosions shook the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday, injuring dozens of people, shaking buildings, and sending huge piles of smoke into the sky.
Lebanese media published photographs of people trapped under the debris, several bloodsuckers, after massive explosions in the port area, the cause of which has not been immediately ascertained.
A security source said the explosion “caused dozens of injuries”.
An AFP correspondent at the scene said all stores in the Hamra business district were damaged, entire store windows were destroyed, windows smashed and several cars razed.
Wounded people were walking down the street, while outside Clemensu Medical Center, dozens of injured, blood-soaked, we ran into the center, including children.
The destroyed cars were left on the road with their inflated airbags.
Sources said that a huge cloud of black smoke engulfed the entire port area of Beirut.
The port area was cordoned off by security forces, allowing only ambulances, fire trucks, and those whose family members worked in the devastated area.
A huge fire was burning in the harbor, where ambulances were quickly taking the injured away, their sirens ringing.
The explosions were heard as far as 240 kilometers (150 mi) on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean as far away as Nicosia.
“Like earthquake” – Beirut explosion
“Buildings are shaking,” one resident tweeted, while another wrote, “A huge, deafening explosion drags Beirut. I heard it from miles away.”
Online images from a Lebanese newspaper office show closed windows, shattered furniture, and demolished interior panels.
The explosion occurred at a time when Lebanon is struggling with its worst economic crisis in decades, leaving nearly half of the population in poverty.
The Lebanese economy has collapsed in recent months, with the local currency slipping against the dollar, businesses closing en masse, and rising poverty rates similar to unemployment.
“It felt like an earthquake … I felt it was bigger than the 2005 explosion of Rafiq Hariri’s murder,” a city center woman told.