A large blast in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has killed at least 70 people and injured more than 2,700 others, the health minister says.
It is not yet clear what caused the explosion in the port region. Videos posted online showed a column of smoke followed by a large mushroom cloud.
Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed and many buildings have been destroyed.
Lebanon's internal security chief said the blast happened in an area housing highly explosive materials.
A BBC journalist at the scene reported dead bodies and severe damage, enough to put the port out of action.
The explosion comes at a sensitive time for Lebanon, with an economic crisis reigniting old divisions. Tensions are also high ahead of Friday's verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
The minister for foreign affairs, Winston Peters, said it was too early to say if any New Zealanders were caught up in a devastating blast.
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