Thousands injured in Lebanon after two powerful explosions in Beirut.
Panic is sown in the streets of Beyrout, after two successive powerful explosions causing hundreds of wounded.
The origin of the explosions that shattered the windows of many buildings and shops for miles around, was not immediately known.
Videos shared on social networks show a first explosion followed by a second which causes a gigantic cloud of smoke.
A Lebanese resident in central Beirut said "this explosion was even more powerful than the explosion during the assassination of Rafic Hairi" which took place in 2005. She added that it was a van full of explosives.
"The explosion took place in the port of Beirut and left hundreds injured," said a security source, without providing further details.
Thousands of injured
Beirut media broadcast images of people covered in blood trapped under rubble. Witnesses said they saw hundreds of injured ashore in the port area.
For his part, Georges Kettaneh, the president of the Lebanese Red Cross, referred to "hundreds of wounded" in a statement on Lebanese television LBC. "We are overwhelmed by phone calls," he said.
"The buildings shook," tweeted a resident of the Lebanese capital. "All the windows in my apartment exploded," he added.
The port sector has been cordoned off by security forces, which only allow civil defense, ambulances with howling sirens and fire trucks, according to AFP correspondents at the entrance to the port.
In the vicinity, material damage and destruction is significant. And the sirens of the civil defense sound throughout the city.
The windows of many buildings and shops were shattered for miles around.
According to witnesses, the incident was heard as far as the coastal town of Larnaca, in Cyprus, a little over 200 km from the Lebanese coast.
After the explosions Tuesday, many residents, some injured, walked to hospitals in several districts of Beirut.
In the district of Achrafieh, wounded rush to the Hôtel Dieu hospital. In front of the Clémenceau medical center, dozens of wounded including children, covered in blood, are waiting to be admitted.