A large fire erupted in Beirut's port on Thursday, just a month after a massive explosion that killed nearly 200 people. According to the Lebanese army, and as reported by CNN, the fire broke out at a warehouse where oil and tires are kept in the port's duty-free market. At this time, it is unclear what caused the fire and no casualties have been reported.
BBC reports that firefighters have responded to the scene and military helicopters are being used in an effort to extinguish the flames. Video shared by local residents showed black some billowing high above the city's skyline. George Kettaneh, the head of Lebanon's Red Cross, said there is no fear the fire could lead to another explosion.
Due to the fire, Beirut Gov. Marwan Abboud has ordered residents to stay clear of the port area "for their safety" and to allow crews to perform their duties as they work to extinguish the blaze. Still reeling from the Aug. 4 explosion, however, the fire has left many residents on edge.
"I'm telling myself that nothing’s going to happen and it's probably not a big deal, but you can’t fight the anxiety of opening all the windows, sitting inside a corridor or being jumpy all the time and having people call you, telling you to leave the area," Feras Abdallah, 27, an architect whose car and apartment were destroyed by the explosion, told The New York Times.
It is reported that this is the second fire to break out in the area in a week. At this time, the extent of this most recent fire remains unknown, though no deaths have been reported. Kettaneh, according to the BBC, said some people have suffered from shortness of breath as a result of the fire, but there were no reports of injuries.
The blaze comes just weeks after a massive explosion, which registered as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake and was felt as far as 150 miles away in the city of Cyprus, rocked the capital city. Caused by nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse for six years, the explosion left 190 people dead and thousands of others injured.