UN: 'The catastrophe is huge' — UN chief Guterres on Beirut explosions

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a «credible and transparent investigation» to determine the cause of last week's explosions in Beirut port, speaking at a humanitarian briefing on Lebanon in New York City, Monday. «At this time of both sorrow and prolonged frustration, the anger of the Lebanese people is palpable,» Guterres said. «It is also important that reforms be implemented so as to address the needs of the Lebanese people for the longer term,» he stated, adding that «the catastrophe is huge. The sense of loss and even disbelief is profound.» Deadly explosions that rocked the city's port area last week, killed at least 200 people, injuring thousands and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The blasts are thought to have been caused by the still unexplained ignition of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical material which was reportedly stored without precautionary measures at the port, according to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

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