The Lebanese health minister said the Beirut blasts have killed at least 27 people and injured an estimated 2,500, according to AFP.

Two powerful explosions in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday evening have reportedly claimed at least 27 lives. The death toll is likely to rise further.

"We have been caught in an avalanche of calls," said Georges Kettaneh, leader of the Lebanese Red Cross, according to AFP.

  • Read more: Two huge explosions shook Beirut - at least 10 dead, several injured

The explosions wreaked havoc along Beirut.

Photo: Xinhua / Zuma / MVPhotos

The cause of the explosions is not yet known. Based on videos spread on social media, at least one of the giant explosions lifted a large, mushroom-like cloud into the air.

A picture taken near the blast site shows the intensity of the damage.


IS reached Abed El-Sayed from Beirut in the evening, who said he heard the explosions eight kilometers away.

- They say it would be an explosion of fireworks, but it didn't look like it. No one believes it, El-Sayed said on the phone as the sounds of emergency vehicles heard non-stop in the background.

The woman wounded in the blast carried her child.

Photo: Xinhua / Zuma / MVPhotos

According to him, the sounds and vibrations and videos that were already heard far away speak in favor of the explosion of something other than fireworks. Not to mention the extent of the damage.

- The whole of Beirut is covered in shards of glass, the whole city. The windows of buildings and cars are broken, El-Sayed described.

  • Read more: HS: The premises of the Finnish mission were destroyed in the explosion in Beirut - “They don't really exist”

El-Sayed said he was on the street at the time of the explosions and first thought it was an earthquake. When IS spoke to El-Sayed, he was only two miles from the scene.

- The situation is chaotic. It feels like the whole of Beirut has been destroyed, he said.

Materials stored in the port as the cause of the explosion?

Lebanese security chief Abbas Ibrahim told Reuters that the explosions could be caused by explosives previously seized by the authorities and stored in the port for years.

“It seems to have been a very explosive material,” Ibrahim said.

According to Ibrahim, an investigation into the explosions is being launched.

The wounded woman was photographed sitting in a destroyed house.

Photo: Xinhua / Zuma / MVPhotos

The U.S. State Department has stated that it is closely monitoring the situation and is ready to provide “all possible assistance” to Lebanon. France and Iran have also offered their assistance to the country.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hasan Diab has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. President Michael Aoun, for his part, called on the country’s defense council for an urgent meeting.