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Massive Explosion Reported In Beirut, Lebanon
TOPSHOT - A picture shows the scene of an explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. - A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4, an AFP correspondent said. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city
ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images

The capital city of Lebanon experienced a massive explosion Tuesday afternoon, according to preliminary media reports. 

Videos of the explosion in Beirut have been circulating online, and some of the videos show a ring moving away from the site while a large plume of orange-tinged smoke subsequently erupts into the air. 

According to The Associated Press, the massive explosion appears to have occurred near the sea port, which connects the capital city to the Mediterranean Sea.

Videos circulating from purportedly after the blast show destruction in the city, although it is not clear how close these videos were taken in proximity to the site of the explosion. 

According to The New York Times, the explosion flipped over cars and has caused numerous injuries, and at “least one hospital was overwhelmed and was turning wounded people away.” Sky News reports that at least 10 people have died, citing Lebanese officials.

“The sounds of sirens of the fire brigade, ambulances, the police and also the military has been pretty incessant for the last 45 minutes and a huge number of emergency services and security forces are rushing to that area now,” said Zein Ja’far, an editor for Sky News who was downtown.

“Some buildings as far as 2km are partially collapsed,” Fady Roumieh, a local resident, told Sky News. “It’s like a war zone. The damage is extreme. Not one glass window intact.”

Alyssa Farah, the White House director of strategic communications, has since said that the president has been briefed on the situation.

“Praying for the safety of the people of Lebanon. The President has been briefed. We continue to monitor the situation closely,” said Farah.

The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

Abby Sewell, a freelance reporter formerly with The Los Angeles Times, said a source in the Lebanese Army believed the explosion could have been caused by a fireworks fire that spread “to reach a nitrate warehouse.”

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