" Innumerable" number of dead and injured by strong explosion in Beirut

More than 500 people have been injured, according to local sources
 Tuesday photo of a column of smoke in Beirut after an explosion. Aug 4, 2020

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir  -   Tuesday photo of a column of smoke in Beirut after an explosion. Aug 4, 2020

The heavy explosion in the port of Beirut that has shaken the entire Lebanese capital has left a "countless" number of injured and an as yet undetermined number of dead, according to the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA).

The source noted that there are "several deaths and injuries" as a result of the explosion in one of the port blocks, in addition to material damage in several neighborhoods of the city.

According to the local chain LBCI, there are more than 500 injured people in the Hotel Dieu hospital, located in the centre of Beirut, and the source added that the hospital "cannot receive any more injured people".

The director of Lebanese General Security, Ibrahim Abbas, told the media during a visit to the port of Beirut that "it appears that the explosion occurred in a warehouse with highly explosive material that had been confiscated years ago," without giving any further details.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun called to provide shelter to all those who have been displaced by the deflagration.

Health Minister Hamad Hasan has ordered all hospitals to receive the injured and that treatment be at the ministry's expense. ​​​​​​​

Images broadcast on social networks show the detonation and a large mushroom cloud rising into the sky, causing a shockwave that has affected several neighbourhoods in the city and caused material damage.

Columns of white and also reddish smoke are rising over the port area, located on the Mediterranean coast.