Aid heads to Beirut after blast

People inspect the damage near the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area.
People inspect the damage near the site of Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area.

International aid in the form of emergency workers and medical personnel is heading to Lebanon a day after a massive explosion devastated Beirut's port, killing at least 100 people and wounding thousands.

France says it is sending two planes with dozens of emergency workers, a mobile medical unit and 15 tonnes of aid.

French President Emmanuel Macron's office says the aid should allow for the treatment of some 500 victims.

French peacekeepers stationed in Lebanon, a former French protectorate, have been helping since the explosions, Macron's office said on Wednesday.

Jordan says a military field hospital including all necessary personnel will be dispatched, according to the Royal Court. Egypt has opened a field hospital in Beirut to receive the wounded.

Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek says Lebanon has accepted an offer to send a team of 37 rescuers with sniffer dogs to Beirut.

Denmark says it is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, and Greece says it is ready to help Lebanese authorities "with all means at its disposal."

Prime Minister Hassan Diab has appealed to all countries and friends of Lebanon to extend help to the small nation, saying: "We are witnessing a real catastrophe."

Lebanese Red Cross official George Kettaneh said at least 100 people were killed and more than 4000 were wounded, and the toll could rise further.

Australian Associated Press