Australian killed in Beirut explosions, embassy damaged: Officials

Across Beirut, entire streets were wiped out and glass shards littered much of the inner city.
Across Beirut, entire streets were wiped out and glass shards littered much of the inner city.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian was killed and the country's embassy damaged in massive explosions that devastated Beirut's port on Tuesday (Aug 4), Canberra said.

"It's my deep regret to inform you that one Australian has been killed in this horrific blast," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told The Today Show without providing further details.

Two enormous explosions killed more than 70 people and injured thousands, shaking distant buildings and spreading panic and chaos in the capital, Lebanese authorities said.

Australia's embassy was "considerably damaged by the effects of the blast" and some staff had been injured, Foreign Minister Marise Payne told ABC radio.

"I'm advised that about 95 per cent of the windows in the front of the chancery of the embassy have been blown out and that staff have been affected by a number of glass injuries," she said.

"Fortunately they are relatively minor and they have all been treated."

Across Beirut, entire streets were wiped out, glass shards littered much of the inner city and the country's Red Cross called for urgent blood donations.