There was a massive explosion in Beirut this morning (specifically in the Lebanese capital’s port area). A subsequent blast wave caused substantial additional damage. Cause, casualties, and details are scant at this time.
Take a look at this cell phone video taken from a balcony across the city.
Explosion in Beirut
Another view from a different perspective:
The explosion occurred in the Port of Beirut (q.v., scroll down).
More footage from Al Jazeera:
There is live footage of the scene in Beirut (as of this writing) here:
Port of Beirut
The Port of Beirut is considered by many to be one of the most important seaports in the Mediterranean. Its position is central to the nexus of three continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa) and has been an entrepôt of tremendous significance since the days when ships tried to sink each other with rams and the marines on board were wearing bronze. It is one of the primary ports of entry for those wishing to visit Lebanon (the other is the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport).
The port is operated by the GEPB (Gestion et exploitation du port dy Beyrouth, or “Port Authority of Beirut”). Those interested can use the “ship tracker” site to see the vessels traveling to and from the Port of Beirut.
Learn more about the Lebanese capital in the CIA Worldbook.
Next up: Humans of Afghanistan