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Greece offers assistance to Lebanon following devastating Beirut explosion

Greece has offered immediate assistance to the authorities of Lebanon following the devastating explosion in Beirut on Tuesday evening that has killed so far 73 50 people and injured over 3,700. The huge explosion in a port warehouse district near the center of Beirut killed sent shockwaves across the Lebanese capital, shattering windows and causing apartment balconies to collapse.

Officials expected the death toll to rise sharply as emergency workers dug through rubble across a swathe of the city to rescue people and remove the dead, reuters reports. It was the most powerful blast to hit Beirut in years, making the ground tremble. A security source said victims were being taken for treatment outside the city because Beirut hospitals were already packed with wounded. Red Cross ambulances from the north and south of the country and the Bekaa valley to the east were called in to cope with the huge casualty toll.

In tweets and statements, the Greek Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Civil Protection said that Greece stood ready to assist the Lebanese authorities with all available means.

With hospitals packed and medical staff treating injured even in parking lots, there are calls for urgent need of blood and medication.

Lebanon’s interior minister said initial information indicated highly explosive material, seized years ago, that had been stored at the port had blown up. The minister later told Al Jadeed TV ammonium nitrate had been in storage there since 2014.

Footage of the explosion shared by residents on social media showed a column of smoke rising from the port district followed by an enormous blast, sending a ball of white smoke and fireball into the sky. Those filming the incident from high buildings 2 km from the port were thrown backwards by the shock.

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