Media reports indicate that two large explosions that occurred in Beirut's port area on Monday, August 4, have caused extensive damage and casualties. Lebanese authorities have stated that the explosions, which occurred at around 18:00 (local time), were caused by a fire in a warehouse storing fireworks, although later reports claimed that the cause may have been chemicals being stored at the dock. The larger of the two blasts was reportedly felt in Nicosia, Cyprus, over 240 km (150 miles) away.
Casualty figures remain unclear, with officials estimating that hundreds have been injured, and initial reports stating that at least 10 people have been killed. Significant damage has been reported in Beirut's central districts, which are located near to the port. Emergency services have cordoned off access to the port, where a large fire is still burning.
A day of mourning has been declared for Wednesday, August 5.
Significant disruption to transportation and business is to be expected in Beirut in the near term.
Those in Beirut are advised to remain indoors, close doors and windows, and monitor local media sources for further updates on the incident.
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