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Firefighters spray water at a fire after an explosion was heard in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020. R REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

  • Some people affected by the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday have turned to Instagram in an attempt to locate missing loved ones in the aftermath of the blast.
  • One Instagram page, LocateVictimsBeirut, shares the names of people found as hospitals and photos of those who are reported missing by their families.
  • By Wednesday, the account reached more than 90,000 followers.
  • The explosion, caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, killed at least 100 people and injured thousands.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

With Beirut in chaos after a massive explosion at the port left at least 100 dead and thousands injured, people have turned to Instagram to find their missing loved ones.

One Instagram page has attracted more than 90,000 followers since the blast devastated the Lebanese capital on Tuesday evening.

LocateVictimsBeirut has shared the photos of nearly 100 people who are missing, as well as the names of many men and women who have been found at local hospitals.

"We are trying to locate the individuals posted on this account," the administrator wrote in an early post. "Please share this page, we need to be effective and have a single platform for individuals to look through the pictures."

The administrator told Insider that the page has seen a lot of activity, but there is no available data on how many people have been able to find their loved ones. Some of the missing people identified on the page have since been marked safe.

A post shared by LOCATING VICTIMS (@locatevictimsbeirut)Aug 4, 2020 at 3:36pm PDT

The source of the explosion on Tuesday was a store of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate kept at the docks for years, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said.

The exact cause remains under investigation.

Some hospitals in Beirut were so badly damaged that they could not admit any patients from the blast, which also hit a warehouse that housed much of the country's vaccine supply.

Healthcare workers were among those killed.

A post shared by LOCATING VICTIMS (@locatevictimsbeirut)Aug 4, 2020 at 5:33pm PDT

Many in the city started filming Tuesday night when they saw gray smoke billowing from the area by the port. Soon after the smoke began, there was a massive blast that formed an orange mushroom cloud that towered over the city and caused widespread devastation.

—Nader Itayim | ‌‌نادر ایتیّم (@ncitayim) August 4, 2020

In addition to trying to reconnect loved ones, LocateVictimsBeirut also shared a link to a crowdfunding effort for Beirut disaster relief that has been launched by the nonprofit Impact Lebanon.

The fund had raised more than $3 million as of Wednesday alongside messages of support that poured in from around the world.

  • Read more:
  • A massive explosion just devastated Beirut. Here's what the unbelievable destruction looks like for people on the ground.
  • Hospitals in Beirut were so badly damaged by the explosion that many can't admit patients
  • 'I have never seen a tragedy so huge': 2 people in Beirut describe being caught up in the massive explosion that devastated the city

News Source: insider.com

Tags: massive explosion

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How an internet system from space is helping firefighters in Washington

(CNN)SpaceX's Starlink satellites are being used by emergency responders in Washington to help fight fires while bringing internet access to residents in areas devastated by wildfires.

The company loaned seven terminals to access its satellites to the Washington Emergency Management Division (WEMD), public information officer Steven Friederich told CNN. The internet access provided by those satellites are being used by firefighters to coordinate its firefighting efforts in rural areas in the state.Starlink is SpaceX's program to create a satellite-based internet constellation capable of providing broadband internet across the globe, enabling connectivity to billions of people who may not have reliable internet access. SpaceX has already launched hundreds of satellites into orbit with plans to grow Starlink to include more than 40,000 satellites.
    Bright satellites in the thousands could impact future space discoveriesWEMD reached out to SpaceX and was already in discussions with the company to improve access to more reliable internet in rural areas when a devastating wildfire swept through Malden, which is a rural town in eastern Washington approximately 35 miles south of Spokane, according to Friederich.About 80% of the homes and buildings in Malden were destroyed by a fast-moving wildfire that swept through the area on September 7, according to the Whitman County Sheriff's Office.Read MoreWith most of the telecommunications structures in the town burned down, terminals were deployed to grant internet access to residents and emergency responders. Friederich said that terminals were also set up in Western Washington by Bonney Lake, which is approximately 16 miles East of Tacoma, to help with the Sumner-Grade wildfire.Malden, Washington was devastasted by a wildfire that swept through the area.Friederich said that local and state firefighters used the terminals in their incident command vehicles to request resources, organize daily activities, and make decisions, such as ordering helicopters for wildfire fighting activities."Happy to have the support of @SpaceX's Starlink internet as emergency responders look to help residents rebuild the town of Malden, WA that was overcome by wildfires earlier this month," WEMD wrote in a tweet.A representative for SpaceX did not respond to CNN's request for comment, instead pointing to a tweet by CEO Elon Musk responding to WEMD.
      "Glad SpaceX could help!" Musk tweeted. "We are prioritizing emergency responders & locations with no Internet connectivity at all."Friederich says that the terminals can be used to continue to help areas affected by wildfires or during a large disaster, such as an earthquake. He said that WEMD is exploring the use of these terminals as a part of its communication strategy moving forward.

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