The death toll was in the dozens on Tuesday and had risen to triple digits on Wednesday, the Red Cross said.
Authorities believe the pair of explosions Tuesday occurred at a warehouse near Beirut’s port after a fire had started there. They said stored ammonium nitrate in the area was the likely source.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, declaring Wednesday a national day of mourning, has vowed to investigate the explosions and said those responsible will be held accountable.
Diab also said it has long been known that storing ammonium nitrate at the location was a hazard.
The accident could not have come at a worse time for Lebanon, which has been fighting to overcome a major economic crisis because of the devaluation of its currency. Officials said silos that held about 85% of Lebanon’s grain were destroyed in the blasts.
Raoul Nehme, Lebanon’s economy minister, said seven employees at the port’s granaries are missing.
At least two Instagram accounts were established for those looking for loved ones in Beirut. One of the accounts also is posting lists of people admitted to various hospitals in the city, to help people find family members.
The World Health Organization said it’s sending 23 tons of aid from its warehouse in Dubai, including medical trauma kits carrying syringes, bandages and gauze.
Germany has sent a team that includes dozens of search and rescue experts to aid with finding survivors and victims. France, Qatar, Iraq and Kuwait are said they are also sending supplies.