Beirut residents awoke to a scene of intense devastation a day after a massive explosion in the port caused shock waves all over the Lebanese capital, killing at least 100 people and injuring thousands. Smoke was still rising from the port, as huge piles of grain poured out from hollow silos. The main streets in the city center were filled with debris and damaged vehicles, and the facades of the buildings were blown up.
A Lebanese Red Cross official said that at least 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 wounded. The official, George Kettaneh, said the death toll could rise further.
Dozens of people were missing as she pleaded with relatives on social media to help find their loved ones. An Instagram page entitled “Identifying Victims in Beirut” appeared with pictures of the missing, and radio presenters read the names of the missing or injured throughout the night. Many residents moved with friends or relatives after their apartments were damaged and their injuries were cured because hospitals were overwhelmed.
It was not clear what caused the explosion, which appeared to be caused by a fire and hit it with an earthquake force. This was the most powerful explosion ever in the city, which was on the front lines of the 1975-1990 civil war and suffered from conflicts with neighboring Israel.