Shocking images have been released showing the utter devastation caused by the explosion in Beirut, which has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
At around 3pm (GMT) yesterday (4 August), a huge blast at the port of the Lebanese capital shook the city.
So far, more than 100 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the explosion, with more than 4,000 people having been injured.
Emergency services are scouring the wreckage looking for people who are unaccounted for, with many trapped beneath the rubble and feared dead.
The city’s Governor Marwan Abboud told the media that it could cost up to $5 billion to repair the horrific damage caused by the explosion, with 300,000 people having lost their homes.
Lebanon’s prime minister Hassan Diab has said the explosion was caused by 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which is used to make fertilisers and explosives, that had been stored in a nearby port warehouse for the past six years.
These claims have also been backed up by the country’s General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, who blamed the blast on ‘highly explosive material’ that had been confiscated years earlier and kept in the warehouse.
Since the explosion happened, a number of countries have come out and offered their support to the Lebanese government, with the Czech Republic promising to send a team of 37 rescuers with sniffer dogs to aid, while Greece and Denmark have also offered to help.
Writing on Twitter, the French President Emmanuel Macron said he was already sending aid, including two military planes, 15 tonnes of sanitary equipment and a mobile clinic which will have the capacity to treat 500 people.
He said: “I express my fraternal solidarity with the Lebanese after the explosion which claimed so many victims and damages this evening in Beirut.
“France stands alongside Lebanon. Always. French aid and resources are being transported on the spot [of the explosion].”
Footage of the original blast was posted on Twitter yesterday evening.
In the clip, which appears to have been taken from a rooftop nearby, a large cloud of smoke suddenly erupts into the air as a deafening noise ripples through the city.
It was posted with the caption: “A video I received on WhatsApp of the scale of explosion in #Beirut, confirming it was at the port.
“FYI – this comes at one of the worst times in Lebanon’s history, a deep economic crisis with more and more of the population unable to access food, health care. The general mood was that it can’t get worse.
“Many people barely surviving and now more have lost their livelihoods, shops and cars destroyed.”
A video has also recently emerged of a priest having to run for his life as the blast tore through his church.
In the short clip, the man can be seen leading a service when the lights start to flicker and large chunks of the walls and ceiling begin to collapse.
The priest then runs to his left hand side, fleeing from the alter as the building starts to collapse.
The camera filming the service then falls to the ground and the video ends.