WATCH | Dozens killed, thousands wounded in Beirut blast: what we know so far

05 August 2020 - 20:24 By Deepa Kesa

Two large explosions rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, shattering windows in surrounding neighbourhoods, destroying nearby buildings and wounding thousands of people.

It sent a mushroom cloud into the sky and rattled windows on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 160km away.

Officials blamed the explosion on a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port - specifically ammonium nitrate, a highly reactive chemical that was stored in a warehouse.

At least 135 have been killed and more than 5,000 injured, according to Reuters.

Around the world, international leaders have rallied together to show support for the country by sending aid.

"As a result of yesterday's deadly blast, three hospitals in Beirut are not functional at the moment, two others are only partially working, while other medical facilities are overwhelmed with the number of injured people," said World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic.

The blast was the most powerful to ever rip through Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war three decades ago and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus infections.

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