Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed and many buildings have been destroyed, BBC reported.
Another report by Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) said that a warehouse at the Beirut Port caught fire on Tuesday afternoon, triggering a huge explosion.
Several smaller explosions were heard before the bigger one occurred.
Abbas Ibrahim, the head of Lebanon’s General Security, said that “highly explosive materials” confiscated earlier had been stored at the site.
Footage shared on social media captured the moment of the bigger explosion, with a colossal shock wave seen traveling fast across several hundreds of meters and shrouding the area in thick smoke, Press TV reported.
Iranian FM reacts to Beirut’s explosion
Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif extended his sympathy to the people of Lebanon In a message hours after a massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter account Tuesday night.
“As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary.
“Stay strong Lebanon,” Zarif added.