Two huge explosions rocked Lebanon capital Beirut's port on Tuesday, sending an enormous blast wave across the city, killing at least 78 people and injuring thousands more.
The impact of the explosion is huge, with buildings miles away from the explosion area being completely decimated. The explosion initially began with a fire at the port, which exploded into a mushroom cloud.
This blast could not have come at a worse time for Lebanon, which is staring at an economic collapseThe scale of the damage is huge, with buildings miles from the port lying in ruin.
After much speculation about the cause of the blast, Lebanon's prime minister, Hassan Diab, said the cause of the explosion was 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a common industrial chemical used in fertiliser and as a component in mining explosives. Diab said that the warehouse where the explosion reportedly took place had been the subject of warnings going back to 2014.
As a mark of respect for the departed souls, Diab has declared a national day of mourning for the victims of the explosion.
Meanwhile, the explosion has put a lot of stress on the hospitals of the city, which are already teeming with coronavirus patients. Some of the hospitals have issued pleas for blood donations and generators to keep the lights going.
At the same time, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres sent his condolences to Lebanon, saying he "wishes a speedy recovery to the injured, including several United Nations personnel working in Lebanon."
According to reports, at least 48 UN staff were injured in the blast.
The leaders of several countries, including the UK, France, US, Australia, Canada, and Israel, have offered their support to Lebanon in this crisis period.