Photos from the Devastating Explosion in Beirut: What to Know & How You Can Help

A massive explosion hit central Beirut, Lebanon on Aug. 4, leaving at least 135 people dead and at least 5,000 more injured 

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Beirut explosion
WAEL HAMZEH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

In the midst of fighting a pandemic, economic and political unrest and facing a potential famine, Lebanon was rocked by a massive explosion in the capital city of Beirut on Aug. 4.

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Beirut explosion
Beirut explosion. IBRAHIM DIRANI/DAR AL MUSSAWIR/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The explosion hit Beirut's seaport and was reportedly felt 150 miles away. The blast caused extensive damage, destroying buildings, malls and entire blocks of the city.

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Beirut explosion
IBRAHIM DIRANI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

According to the AP, the blast killed at least 135 people, burying many under the rubble and wounding thousands.

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Beirut explosion
WAEL HAMZEH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

International aid is heading to the capital city as countries lend military personnel.

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Beirut explosion
WAEL HAMZEH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

In video footage of the blast, a mushroom-like cloud can be see in the air.

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Aftermath of massive explosion in Beirut
Marwan Naamani/picture alliance via Getty Images

While the exact cause of the blast remains unclear, Abbas Ibrahim, head of Lebanon's intelligence agency, said the explosion may have come after highly explosive material confiscated from a ship and stored in a warehouse in Beirut's port detonated following a fire, according to the AP.

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Hassan Diab spoke of a "dangerous warehouse" that had been in existence for six years, the BBC reported.

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Aftermath of massive explosion in Beirut
The scene after a massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday. Marwan Naamani/picture alliance via Getty Images

President Michel Aoun declared a three-day mourning period, according to the BBC, as well as a two-week state of emergency, according to the AP.

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Aftermath of massive explosion in Beirut
JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images

Prior to the blast, Lebanon was already facing political and civil unrest.

Since October 2019, Lebanese people have been organizing and demanding change as they face high unemployment, a lack a resources, electoral fraud and the third highest inflation rate in the world.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Aftermath of Beirut explosion. IBRAHIM AMRO/AFP via Getty

There are also fears that the country will repeat the 1915-1918 famine. A third of the population is reported to be living below the poverty line, and as inflation increases and the prices of goods rises, the threat worsens. This could also mean an uptick of COVID-19 cases, as the disease is known to disproportionately affect people who are immunocompromised.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
PATRICK BAZ/AFP via Getty

According to The Sun, Lebanese health minister Hamad Hasan said "I have never in my life seen a disaster this big." As a result of the blast and damages — which reached up to six miles away — a quarter of a million people are left homeless.

The effects of the explosion can be seen in photos taken in the aftermath.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
IBRAHIM AMRO/AFP via Getty

A wounded man waits to received help outside a hospital following the explosion in Beirut on Aug. 4.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Marwan Tahtah/Getty

A woman looks out of the collapsed facade of an apartment, damaged by the explosion, on Aug. 5.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Marwan Tahtah/Getty

A man walks through debris on a residential street, completely ravaged by the explosion, on Aug. 5.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Aftermath from the explosion. Daniel Carde/Getty

Planet Labs, Inc., the site of the deadly blast responsible for the deaths of at least 135 and thousands more injuries, is seen following the disaster.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
IBRAHIM DIRANI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A migrant worker reacts in shock following the explosion on Aug. 4.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
APAImages/Shutterstock

People search through the rubble of buildings and cars following the massive blast.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Hassan Ammar/AP/Shutterstock

People work together to transport the injured to hospitals following the blast.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Elizabeth Fitt/SIPA/Shutterstock

A woman helps an injured man walk to St. George's Hospital in Beirut, though the hospital was overflowing with patients and unable to treat him.

Hospitals in Beirut were already facing massive layoffs as a result of economic instability amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Hassan Ammar/AP/Shutterstock

People run through the streets of Beirut, which are covered in rubble from the explosion, on Aug. 4.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
Hassan Ammar/AP/Shutterstock

Lebanese soldiers search for survivors in the rubble following the massive explosion.

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Aftermath of Beirut explosions
ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty

A rescue worker checks a wounded man near the scene of the explosion on Aug. 4.

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Want to Help? Here Is a List of Places That Need Your Donations:

Beirut explosion
Beirut, Lebanon. IBRAHIM DIRANI/DAR AL MUSSAWIR/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
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