Search continues after deadly Beirut blast

By Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 6:00 AM ET, Fri August 7, 2020
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10:07 a.m. ET, August 6, 2020

France's Emmanuel Macron is in Lebanon today

From CNN's Barbara Wojazer in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron, in the white shirt, greets people on August 6 as he visits the Gemmayzeh neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in the white shirt, greets people on August 6 as he visits the Gemmayzeh neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon. AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has said "unconditional help is the priority" in the wake of the devastating Beirut blast, but also warned that unless reforms were implemented "Lebanon will continue to sink."

Macron landed in the Lebanese capital on Thursday and was welcomed by President Michel Aoun.

Speaking shortly after his arrival, Macron stressed that there needed to be a fight against corruption in the country's energy sector and public contracts.

Officials have blamed the devastating explosion on 2,750 metric tons of poorly stored ammonium nitrate.

There is mounting public anger in Lebanon at the political class over revelations that the blast may be linked to government negligence.

Macron added that the Lebanese authorities have a "historic responsibility" in the current crisis.

It is a political, moral, economic and financial crisis whose first victim is the Lebanese population," he said. 

France has sent an aid package to Lebanon which includes two military planes, 55 personnel, 15 tons of equipment and a mobile clinic able care for 500 wounded people.

One French national was killed in the blast and 24 others were injured, Junior Minister to France's Foreign Ministry Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told France Inter radio on Thursday.

8:22 a.m. ET, August 6, 2020

More than 130 people were killed in the Beirut blast. Here's what we know so far.

From CNN's Jessie Yeung and Luke McGee

Red smoke rises after an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4.
Red smoke rises after an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4. Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images

A massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday evening, leaving at least 137 dead and thousands injured.

Here's what we know so far:

  • The blast: The explosion took place at 6:07 p.m. local time Tuesday near Beirut's port and central district, close to many highly-populated areas and tourist sites. The blast was even felt in Cyprus, around 240 kilometers — or about 150 miles — away, and generated seismic waves equivalent to a magnitude 3.3 earthquake.
  • The damage: Beirut's governor Marwan Abboud told reporters that the explosion had resulted in an estimated $3 to $5 billion in damage. A crater created by the explosion appeared to be roughly 124 meters, or 405 feet, in diameter — well over a football field in length, according to CNN analysis of a Planet Labs, Inc. satellite image.
  • Impact to residents: Aboud told Jordan's state-owned channel Al Mamlaka that at least 300,000 people were "unable to sleep in their homes."
  • What's next: The blast has been linked to a large supply of confiscated and potentially unsecured explosive material, stored in a warehouse at the city's port, close to populated areas. As world leaders and international organizations step in to offer assistance, local officials are also launching an investigation into the blast.