President Kenyatta condoles with Lebanon after Beirut blast

President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of solidarity and encouragement to President Michel Aoun and the People of the Lebanese Republic following Tuesday’s devastating blast in Beirut.

The President expressed Kenya’s sympathy for the Lebanese people and wished them God’s comfort as they come to terms with the regrettable destruction of their iconic capital city.

A large blast hit the Lebanese capital, Beirut, with reports saying the explosion was in the port area of the city.

Videos posted on social media Tuesday evening showed a large mushroom cloud and extensive damage.

Following the huge explosion, at least 78 people have been killed and more than 4,000 injured.

President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely in a warehouse for six years.

He scheduled an urgent cabinet meeting for Wednesday and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.

Lebanon will observe an official period of mourning for three days from Wednesday.

President Aoun also announced that the government would release 100 billion lira (£50.5m; $66m) of emergency funds.

“What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” the head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani told local media. “There are victims and casualties everywhere.”

Rescue workers are continuing to search through rubble and the death toll is expected to rise.

Officials said on Tuesday that an investigation was underway to find the exact trigger for the explosion. Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council said those responsible would face the “maximum punishment” possible.

  

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