‘I was on the phone to my wife when I felt the ground shake like an earthquake. Then – “BAM!” – there was a massive explosion,’ says Jaime Abraham, who works in Tearfund’s Middle East team and was in Beirut at the time.
The Lebanese capital had just experienced a huge explosion. It happened in the port area of the city on Tuesday, at around 6pm local time.
‘Before I could even speak to my wife, the shockwave nearly pushed me out of my chair.
‘My first thought was that it was a bomb. But when I ran outside to look, all I could see was this massive plume of orange smoke. It looked more like a volcano erupted, so I thought it must be something else.
‘I immediately ran to check on our neighbours. Many of them had their windows and doors blown out, so I knew it was huge.’
The latest update from Lebanon’s health minister says 137 people have been killed and an estimated 5,000 injured. At least 250,000 people have been made homeless by the blast.