At least 100 people have been killed and more than 4,000 injured by two enormous explosions in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

The figures, coming from rescue workers and first reported in The Daily Star Lebanon, are expected to rise as emergency response efforts continue.

The explosions, which had a similar force to a 3.5 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale, devastated much of Beirut's port area and were felt as far away as Cyprus.

In the wake of such a tragedy, many people want to know what they can do to help. It is also important to remain vigilant about sharing verified information online.

Follow updates from a trusted source

New information about the likely cause of the explosions and their impacts is being shared across media and social media sites.

Before sharing any of this yourself, ensure that it originates from a person or organisation you trust and where possible find out what primary sources they used.

As the world reactions to the tragedy, it is all too easy for rumour and speculation to result in the spread of misinformation.

Donate to official aid groups

If you would like to financially contribute to the recovery effort in Beirut, ensure that your money reaches the right people as quickly as possible.

The best way to do this is to donate to Lebanon's Red Cross, or to a local, registered NGO.

If you are in the area, you can also give blood, or support the organisations collecting it.

Be sensitive with information about missing people

Social media can be an effective way of sharing information quickly in the wake of a tragedy.

For instance, this Instagram page is aggregating and sharing pleas for information about people who might be missing.

People in the area are also able to mark themselves as 'safe' on their Facebook page.

But, again, be wary of sharing unverified information online.

Even images and videos claiming to identify missing people can be misleading and risk causing greater hurt to people waiting for updates about their loved ones.

Get all the facts

Some official news sources are sharing information about possible causes of the explosions.

When you read these reports, bear in mind the fact that this is a developing story and any single update won't give you all the facts.

This is not to say that all information relating to a possible cause is necessarily untrue, just that it isn't the full story.

Ideally, you should read coverage widely to get a sense of how much is known for certain, and you should definitely read past the headline of any single article relating to a possible cause.

If you have been affected by this story and currently live in the UK we recommend that you contact the Embassy of Lebanon in London. 

They can be reached via the following means:

Address: 15 Palace Garden Mews, Kensington, London W8 4RB

Telephone: 020 7229 7265

You can follow the latest breaking news stories about Beirut here.

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