DUBAI: More than 100 people were killed and thousands were injured on Tuesday when a massive explosion ripped through the port area of Beirut. The mushroom-shaped blast sent shockwaves throughout the capital, destroying homes, offices and other structures, and was heard as far away as Cyprus in the Mediterranean. The cause of the horrifying explosion is currently being linked to the presence of ammonium nitrate, of which 2,750 tonnes had been stored at the port for six years without safety measures in place.
In a short televised speech Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed to all countries and friends of Lebanon to extend help to the small nation, saying: “We are witnessing a real catastrophe.”
An outpouring of thoughts, prayers, and resources in the form of monetary and humanitarian aid have flooded in from around the world as the people of Beirut solemnly commence a three day period of national mourning.
Across the region, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo lit up with images of the Lebanese flag in a bid to express support for the people of Lebanon.
“#BurjKhalifa lights up in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in #Lebanon,” read the caption under the image posted by the landmark’s Instagram page.
Meanwhile Toronto dimmed the lights on its 3D signboard to mourn the victims of the tragic event.
The #Toronto Sign has gone dark tonight as we mourn the victims of today's tragic explosion in Beirut. Our thoughts go out to the Lebanese community, families, friends and neighbours across the GTA pic.twitter.com/p8VOsOyqRO
— T O R O N T O (@Toronto) August 5, 2020
Leaders around the world have also expressed their sympathy for Beirut and the tragedy that occurred on Tuesday evening.
In a statement issued by the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that they stood in solidarity with the “brotherly Lebanese people,” and were “following with great concern the repercussions of the explosion that occurred.”
The UAE’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter: “We pray that God grants you patience and solace. God bless Lebanon and the Lebanese people.”