New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has today announced $500,000 in aid for the Red Cross after yesterday’s deadly Beirut blast.

Mr Peters tweeted the pledge this afternoon.

“New Zealand stands in solidarity with Lebanon. We are providing $500,000 to the Red Cross Movement for the provision of lifesaving medical support and urgent humanitarian services.”

It comes after 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut’s port somehow caught alight yesterday, leading to an incredibly large explosion which killed at least 135 people and injured more than 5000 across the city.

The blast is thought to have left some 300,000 displaced in Beirut due to massive property damage.

The Ministry of Foreign Affair and Trade says, New Zealanders who want to support the response are encouraged to make financial contributions through credible relief organisations rather than attempting to send material support such as blankets, food or medicine.

Many videos of the explosion and its aftermath have appeared online over the last 24 hours.